Chula Vista, California- Improving the quality of life for veterans with disabilities was the goal of the 2nd National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic held in San Diego from September 20-25. The U.S. Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista was the host of the Track and Field portion of the event. The group of veterans took to some great locations in San Diego while being inspired to live an active life and potentially join the Paralympic movement.
A group of 65 participants from across the country arrived in San Diego where temperatures were reaching into the 90’s. It turns out that adaptive sports are a great way to engage veterans who are coping with physical and psychological disabilities to encourage self development and a rewarding life despite recent injuries.
While at the OTC, participants competed in the javelin, shot put and discus. Sandy Trombetta, Director of the Summer and Winter Sports Clinics had a lot to say about the partnership with the OTC, “I am so thankful for the graciousness and openness of the staff at the OTC. We could have picked any track in San Diego but we wanted to be at the OTC where the veterans could feel the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic movement. The participants are in awe of the OTC, it awakens them to the possibilities that are out there. Can you imagine how this affects a wounded soldier returning home with a disability, it shows them that an active vibrant life is within their reach.” Tracy Lamb, Director U.S. Olympic Training Center, Chula Vista welcomes this sentiment, “We are happy to host the Veterans and look forward to a continued partnership. It’s great to see the veterans and it’s terrific they can be inspired here at the OTC.”
One of the participants in this weeks activities was Army Gunner, Kevin Miller who was wounded in combat as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Kevin stated, “Someone said I had some real talent with the discus and javelin so I’m going to use this as a catalyst to train and tryout for the U.S. Paralymic Track and Field team.” Instead of dodging bullets from his Humvee, Kevin will be hurling some of the oldest implements of war, the javelin and the discuss. Who knows you might just see Kevin at the Paralympic Games, still representing the red, white and blue but this time the goal will be promoting peace through sport. Go Kevin, Go Veterans!!
For more information, visit http://summersportsclinic.va.gov.