The USABA Military Sport Program enhances the lives of disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces who are blind and visually impaired by accelerating their rehabilitation and re-integration back into their home communities. The mission of the USABA Military Sport Program is to provide sport, recreation, and physical activity opportunities for all disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces who are blind and visually impaired.
The Military Sports Program focuses on the existing Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Blind Rehabilitation Centers and is designed to enhance the on-going rehabilitation programs at each of these facilities. USABA works with the Blind Rehabilitation Center staff and local community-based organizations to enhance, and in some cases develop and implement, ongoing recreation and sport program opportunities for Veterans and active duty Service members of all ages in an effort to improve the overall rehabilitation program. One such program, Operation Mission Vision, specifically designed for Veterans and active duty Service members who are blind and visually impaired was launched to help promote sport and physical activity. When a Service member or Veteran leaves a Blind Rehabilitation Center, USABA wants to ensure that he or she is armed with enough information to take these learned skills and successfully integrate into their hometowns in order to continue to lead healthy lifestyles and to identify appropriate participants for local and regional competition.
A key component of military service, regardless of the era, is challenging one’s physical abilities. Remember all of those long ruck marches, unit fun runs, and PT tests? Yes, like many of you I try not to as well, but one cannot argue against the amount of research and information about the benefits of exercise to combat adverse health and mental health conditions. More importantly, organizations like USABA, Team Red, White, and Blue, Achilles, and your local sporting groups built tremendous communities with a vested interest in the well-being of those who elect to participate.
USABA just rolled out a new program aiming to encourage visually impaired Veterans’ participation in local adaptive sporting and athletic events. The Community Sports Integration Project funds visually impaired Veterans registration and travel, so that they have the opportunity to participate in competitive and recreational sports in their local and regional community. Through a VA adaptive sporting grant, USABA will provide Veterans reimbursements for entry fees for the following events:
• 5k to marathons
• Cycling events
• Triathlons, (Sprint and Olympic distance only)
• Powerlifting meets
• Rowing regattas
• Challenge events like Tuff Mudders and Warrior Dashes
• Swim meets
• Other competitions and tournaments for golfing, bowling, sailing, and other sporting and athletic events.
* Please note, multi-day events, camps, and ‘tours’ will not be considered. Likewise, events utilizing funds from the VA Adaptive Sports Grant will not be covered due to VA policies. Veterans will be provided t-shirts and other apparel to wear while competing when sport applicable.
Any visually impaired Veteran may apply, regardless of your age, whether you are recreationally participating or fighting to win, or location. Funding is available on a first come, first serve basis for any event starting July 1st until September 30th, 2017. If this interests you, here are the project’s guidelines:
If you have questions, please contact the project coordinator before your event. The project coordinators are:
Assistant Executive Director, USABA
You can also contact USABA’s Membership Manager, Kevin Brousard, with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or (719) 866-3019.