U.S. Paralympics and PVA Partner to Create Handcycling Program for Injured Military

March 17, 2009, 11:46 a.m. (ET)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) today announced an expansion of their partnership to enhance local sports programming to assist in the rehabilitation process for injured service men and women. The programs will focus on the sport of handcycling by providing ongoing programs for interested participants in four cities across the U.S.:  Chicago, San Antonio, San Diego and Washington, D.C.

A grant from the U.S. Paralympic Military Program, a program of U.S. Paralympics' designed to assist in the rehabilitation process for injured service men and women, will help support the partnership at the four locations as well as provide equipment and coaching and training support. U.S. Paralympics and the PVA will collaborate with local, community-based organizations and medical facilities in each of the four cities to help implement and sustain the programs.

"The USOC and PVA, through collaboration with Paralympic, community-based and Veteran organizations, are continuing to seek the most effective, efficient and impactful strategies to provide rehabilitative services and physical activity at the community level to those injured while serving," said Charlie Huebner, Chief of Paralympics, USOC. "Research continues to show the importance and impact of daily physical activity and mentors in a successful rehabilitation process that focuses on a return to an active lifestyle in communities throughout the U.S."

"Paralyzed Veterans and U.S. Paralympics are groundbreaking leaders in the field of disabled sports," said Randy L. Pleva, Sr., national president of Paralyzed Veterans. "A core mission of our organization is to provide sporting and recreational programs that improve the quality of veterans' lives. Our members benefit from the camaraderie and physical improvements that result from effective sporting programs. Through partnership with U.S. Paralympics, we expect that more disabled veterans will advance their rehabilitation through sports."

The first program kicks off in San Diego, Calif. on April 9th with Invacare - Top End and Paralyzed Veterans providing a handcycling clinic and product tour. Participants will be coached by Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Sanchez (San Diego, Calif.) and Paralympian Matt Updike (Denver, Colo.).

Contact information:

Beth Bourgeois, U.S. Paralympics - (719)866-2039 or beth.bourgeois@usoc.org

Geoff Hopkins, Paralyzed Veterans - (202) 416-7736 or geoffh@pva.org  



About U.S. Paralympics

Since its formation in 2001, U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, has been inspiring Americans to achieve their dreams. Through education, sports programs and partnerships with community organizations, medical facilities and government agencies, U.S. Paralympics is making difference in the lives of thousand of physically disabled people every day. To learn more about U.S. Paralympics, please visit http://www.usparalympics.org/.



About Paralyzed Veterans of America:

Sixty-two years ago, Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded by a band of spinal cord injured service members who returned home from World War II to a grateful nation, but also to a world with few solutions to the challenges they faced. These veterans from the Greatest Generation made a decision not just to live, but to live with dignity as contributors to society. They created Paralyzed Veterans, dedicated to veterans' service, medical research and civil rights for people with disabilities. And for more than six decades, Paralyzed Veterans and its 34 chapters have been working to create an America where all veterans, and people with disabilities, and their families, have everything they need to thrive. Please visit http://www.pva.org/ to learn more about our work.