USA Curling receives grant in support of Paralympic sport and programs

By Terry Kolesar | May 21, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
May 21, 2014

USA Curling receives VA/USOC grant
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), announced that the United States Curling Association (USCA) has been selected to receive grant funding in support of Paralympic sport and physical activity programs for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces. More than $7.5 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been awarded to 70 community organizations and National Governing Bodies around the country.

Through this program, grants ranging from $13,000 to $500,000 were provided to USOC partner organizations and community programs to increase the number and quality of opportunities for physically or visually impaired Veterans to participate in physical activity within their home communities and in more advanced Paralympic sport programs at the regional and national levels.

"This funding has allowed thousands of Veterans and service members with physical disabilities to participate in Paralympic sport at the community level," said Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics, USOC. "Through the leadership at Veterans Affairs and within Congress, these funds have a tremendous impact on the availability of programs across the country, not to mention thousands of lives."

The grant dollars will be used to fund a three-day national wheelchair curling camp to take place at the Lake Placid (N.Y.) Olympic Training Center Sept. 4-7.  Twenty participants will be fully funded to participate where they will receive instruction from the 2014 Paralympic curling team and staff.  Attendees will also receive a curling delivery stick for continuation with the sport.  Additionally, the USCA aims to conduct at least three one-day outreach clinics throughout the country as well as fund a team to compete in the 2014 Cape Cod International Wheelchair Summerspiel being held in Falmouth, Mass., on July 23-27.  

"This is truly a win-win situation, providing life-enriching opportunities for disabled Veterans and service members, as well as supporting the continued growth and development of wheelchair curling programs in the United States," said Rick Patzke, USCA chief operating officer. "Partnerships like this are critical to helping us bring the wheelchair curling programs to a larger community, and to finding and developing tomorrow's Paralympians. A great example is U.S. Army Veteran Patrick McDonald, who first tried curling in 2008 and captained Team USA at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games."

Research has shown that regular participation in physical activity has a positive effect on the rehabilitation process, self-esteem, education, employment and overall health.  For more information about USA Curling and its programs, visit

The grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.


For more information: Terry Kolesar, Director of Communications,, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).