Session Eight

Find Your Passion

Here we seek to help you tap into your passions and focus on your abilities.  Find resources to help you grow in every way - emotionally, physically and spiritually.  Set new challenges and embark upon adventures you may have never dreamed of before.  Hear from those people who are defying the odds and living beyond their dreams and connect with the resources that are helping them so they can help you.

Immediately below are videos.  If you scroll down further, there is a list of resources provided for you to explore.  Inclusion of any video or resource does not mean endorsement by Friends' Health Connection.  Each resource should be vetted properly by you to make sure the information is accurate and that it's a fit for you.

Featured Videos

Resources

No Barriers

Build your own skills to break through adversity. We help people embark on a quest to contribute their absolute best to the world. In the process, we foster a community of curious, brave and collaborative explorers who are determined to live the No Barriers Life.  Learn more about our mission, vision and philosophy here.

https://joeandneil.clickfunnels.com/optin1598345739930

https://nobarriersusa.org/no-barriers-warriors/overview/

The Department of Veterans Affairs National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events (NVSP&SE) office is responsible for operating a group of adaptive sports and creative arts programs for veterans. They are designed to promote healing and community among disabled veterans and their loved ones.

Adaptive sports have long been used to promote fitness. The VA approach is to use “formalized adaptive sports medicine as a practice specialty” using clinical expertise and support from corporate sponsors, donors, and community partners.

A Variety of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events Programs

There are six VA programs nationwide:

  • National Veterans Wheelchair Games

  • National Veterans Golden Age Games

  • National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic

  • National Disabled Veterans T.E.E. (Training, Exposure, Experience) Tournament

  • National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic

  • National Veterans Creative Arts Competition and Festival

National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG)

This event was created in 1981. It is designed to serve vets with spinal injuries, multiple sclerosis, stroke, neurological disorders, and amputations. Anyone with these conditions who is eligible for VA health care may compete in 19 different sports events. They also receive relevant healthcare information as part of the program.

NVWG is said to be one of the largest wheelchair sports events for disabled veterans in the nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs partners with Paralyzed Veterans of America to run and promote this program

National Veterans Golden Age Games

Since the mid-1980s, the National Veterans Golden Age Games is for VA healthcare-eligible veterans 55 or older with 17 competitive events focusing on adaptive table sports. This is open to veterans with a wide range of conditions and is a qualifying event for the National Senior Games.

National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic

The VA is involved in two seasonal events which are quite different from one another. The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic was created in the late 1980s. It promotes adaptive winter competitive sports such as Alpine skiing, rock hockey, climbing, and similar contests. The winter clinic includes workshops and educational programs to promote healthy lifestyles for veterans with disabilities. Veterans with a wide range of disabilities are welcome including those with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, visual impairments, and “other disabilities.” The VA partners with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) to run this seasonal event.

National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic

By name, this may sound like a similar or identical program to the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, but this event is newer as it was founded in 2008. It emphasizes summer sports including surfing, cycling, track and field, and sailing.

The summer clinic is open to those with “recent” injuries or conditions including orthopedic amputations, traumatic brain injuries, burns, psychological trauma, neurological conditions, PTSD, visual impairment, spinal cord injuries or “other eligible injuries” incurred within the last six years.

National Disabled Veterans T.E.E. (Training, Exposure, Experience) Tournament

Another event co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the T.E.E. Tournament is a golf-centered event founded in 1994 to help disabled veterans with physical rehab and overall health & wellness. It provides a sense of community through adaptive golf and other sports.

T.E.E. is for veterans with visual impairments, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, psychological trauma, neurological conditions, spinal cord injuries, and other qualifying disabilities. The event focuses on golf, but also includes other adaptive sports including kayaking, pontoon fishing, horseback riding, adaptive biking, and more.

National Veterans Creative Arts Competition and Festival

This event, presented by the VA and the American Legion Auxiliary, is the one non-sports themed event in the VA National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events lineup. Established in 1989, it promotes the power of the creative arts in the healing process. They offer competitions in art, music, dance, writing, and drama.

The qualifications for this competition are much different than some of the other programs listed here. It is open to is open specifically to Veterans “who are enrolled at a VA Medical Center or Outpatient Clinic BEFORE entering the local competition.” Submissions for this event are done via the VA health care facility where the veteran gets their primary medical care.

 

Registering for VA Adaptive Sports Programs

You can register or learn more about each individual VA adaptive sports program at the VA official site.

VA Monthly Training Allowances for Paralympic and Olympic Sports

The VA National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events Office offers monthly financial assistance for veteran athletes with qualifying disabilities who are training for Paralympic sports.

Veterans qualify for these funds with service-connected or non-service related conditions and by meeting the minimum VA performance requirements in a Paralympic-recognized competition. The VA official site says qualifying for this grant requires the veteran to be “nationally or internationally classified by his or her respective Paralympic sport federation as eligible for Paralympic competition in that sport.”

A monthly allowance is also available to a veteran with a VA-rated service connected disability at 30% or higher if the athlete is chosen for a national Olympic team “in any event sanctioned by the National Governing Bodies of the U.S. Olympic Sport.”

The VA requires training and competition plans, quarterly reports, and other documentation. The monthly rate of payment starts at just above $600, an allowance paid at the same rate as the Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) rate. You can learn more about the training standards for this program for 2018 at the VA official site.

VA Grants for Adaptive Sports

The Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t just administer these programs. It also provides millions of dollars in grant funding to organizations large and small to increase the availability of adaptive sports for veterans and currently serving troops. These funds are available to qualifying organizations on a national or local level that have “significant experience in managing a large-scale adaptive sports program” according to the VA official site

For a list of grant recipients nationwide for 2021, all offering adaptive programs for veterans, please click here:

The Warrior Games

The U.S. Department of Defense created the DoD Warrior Games to introduce sick and wounded service members to the motivational challenges of team sports and Olympic-style competition. The next Warrior Games will take place in September 2021. The Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment were slated to host the 2020 Department of Defense Warrior Games in San Antonio, Texas.

In 2010, the United States Department of Defense created the Warrior Games to introduce sick and wounded service members to the motivational challenges of team sports and Olympic-style competition. “After overcoming significant injuries and illnesses,” the Warrior Games official site states, “these athletes prove that life can continue after becoming wounded, ill and injured”.

The competitions themselves are known as “adaptive sports”, including track and field, powerlifting, cycling, wheelchair basketball, and sitting volleyball.

Today, the Warrior Games is an annual event that, much like the Olympics, finds a new venue each year to showcase the games.

Adaptive Rowing

USRowing is opening boathouse doors throughout the country to disabled veterans and members of the armed services. We're excited for them to join our team and experience the full range of opportunities and benefits to be gained from recreational rowing at their VA sports facility or local club, to competing in the Paralympics.

To see a list of adaptive rowing programs across the country, please click here

Break the Barriers

https://breakthebarriers.org/

Celebrating awareness and victories of all abilities, ethnicities, and ages through exceptional programs, outreach, and inclusion education.

This program provides the Veterans and Active Duty Military with new ability and purpose, all free of charge thanks to grants and generous donors.

Break the Barriers is proud to provide Veterans and Active Duty Military of all abilities with a state-of-the-art facility, certified staff, elite level equipment, and an inclusive environment for general fitness and competition—all free of charge thanks to grants and generous donors. Veterans are empowered to find new ability and purpose, with opportunities to compete in various events such as the Golden Age Games, Valor Games, Paralympics, and Wheelchair Games, as well as regional, national, and international competitions. Break the Barriers is also a member of the Paralympic Sport Club and is listed in the National Veterans Adaptive Sports Directory. With the professional help and dedication of 82 certified coaches and over 500 caring volunteers annually, programs are provided 6 days a week. If you have questions about the Veterans program, please contact us!