By Tim Hipps, IMCOM Public AffairsJanuary 31, 2013
SAN ANTONIO (Army News Service, Jan. 31, 2013) -- The Valor Games Midwest, an adaptive sports competition for military veterans and service members with physical disabilities, have been expanded this year into the Southeast, Southwest and Northwest.
Established in 2011 by World Sport Chicago in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Paralympics to provide a venue for wounded warriors and disabled Veterans in Chicago, the 2013 Valor Games Series also will be staged in Durham, N.C., San Antonio and San Jose, Calif.
"We're proud to expand this great event for veterans that World Sport Chicago has made so popular," said Chris Nowak, director of the VA office of National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events. "By offering the competition at targeted regions across the country, we're not only making it easier for veterans to participate but also more cost-effective."
The athletes may be active-duty military or veterans from any era. Their disabilities may include: amputation, post-traumatic stress disorder, spinal cord injuries, stroke, traumatic brain injuries or visual disabilities. Anyone with a disability rating from the Veterans Administration is eligible to participate.
"Along with Veterans Affairs and U.S. Paralympics, we are committed to offering more adaptive sports opportunities for veterans and feel the Valor Games events are a great jump start for these individuals to start living healthier, more active lifestyles in their own communities," said Scott Myer, the executive director of World Sport Chicago.
The 2013 Valor Games Southeast, scheduled for May 21-23 in the Raleigh-Durham area, will feature archery, air-rifle shooting, cycling, powerlifting, indoor rowing, volleyball, shot put, table tennis, and more. The venues include the Dean E. Smith Center on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University in Durham, and Centennial Parkway and Reynolds Coliseum on the North Carolina State University campus in Raleigh.
The Far West Wheelchair Athletic Association and Paralympic Sport Clubs of Menlo Park, Sacramento and Silicon Valley, will help play host to the 2013 Valor Games Far West, scheduled for mid-June in San Jose, for veterans and wounded warriors in the San Francisco Bay area. Archery, cycling, shot put, discus and powerlifting will be offered there.
The 2013 Valor Games Southwest in San Antonio, scheduled for Sept. 24-26, will feature five Paralympic sports: archery, cycling, kayaking, powerlifting and air-gun shooting. The Alamo City venues will be Mission Conception Sports Park, SeaWorld San Antonio and the North East ISD Indoor Shooting Range.
Grant funding for this program was 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 Paralympics sport programming for disabled veterans and disabled members of the armed forces.
The Valor Games are not affiliated with the Warrior Games, another mini-Paralympics for wounded service members contested annually in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 2013 Warrior Games are scheduled for May 11 through 17 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the U.S. Air Force Academy. More than 200 disabled athletes are expected to compete in archery, cycling, shooting, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball, swimming, and track and field.