Michigan Victory Games now accepting participants

May 25, 2010, 6:35 p.m. (ET)
The Michigan Victory Games, a competitive sporting competition for athletes with physical disabilities, is now accepting participants for the 2010 competition at MSU in East Lansing. The four-day event begins May 13th and includes Track & Field, Cycling, Power lifting, Slalom, Swimming and Boccia competitions, just to name a few.

Stella Husch is the Director of the Victory Games and a certified Recreational Therapist. "The Games provide athletes who have a physical disability the opportunity to compete against their peers, and benefit from sports and competition just like athletes without a disability," says Husch.

Athletes must be at least 7 years old and have a primary physical disability such as Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke or other physical disability to compete. Past participants have gone on to compete at National and International level competitions such as the World Games and US Paralympics.

Husch, who has been involved with the Games for 14 years, says every year is like a family reunion. "It's amazing. You spend just four days together with the families, coaches, athletes and volunteers, and you develop this bond that some people never have with their own friends or family."

The Victory Games accept individual athletes as well as organized teams – like the Grand Rapids Eagles, which has participated in the Games for more than18 years.

Mike Chambers serves as a member of the Board, a coach and an athlete for the Grand Rapids Eagles. "The Michigan Victory Games is a gathering like none other, says Chambers. "Teams and individuals come together from around the region for competition and social opportunities not always available to us. This event is truly one of a kind."

While the Games had more than 200 athletes, coaches and volunteers last year, Husch and the Victory Games staff are eager for more athletes to participate. To help attract more participants, the Games introduced a new element last year – a single day of Track and Field competition on May 15th for athletes who are curious but not ready to commit to the four-day event.

The Victory Games are organized by the Michigan Disability Sports Alliance (MiDSA), a non-profit group run by volunteers who donate their time to promote competitive and recreational sports for athletes with physical disabilities. Unlike Special Olympics, which support athletes with intellectual disabilities, the MiDSA does not have consistent funding to support their ongoing efforts. Donations from the public are always welcome and necessary to ensure the future success of the Victory Games. For more information about the Games or donations please contact Stella Husch, Games Director at 248-922-1236 or shusch@MichiganVictoryGames.org. Or, visit the Michigan Victory Games website at www.MichiganVictoryGames.org .