US Paralympics Awards Grant to US Sailing For Veterans Programs

UNITED STATES SAILING ASSOCIATION, INC.

Funding to provide enhanced sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 24th, 2014

Portsmouth, R.I. – U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), announced that the United States Sailing Association, Inc. (US Sailing) 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 $7.5M 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.

“It is truly an honor to be able to introduce the sport of sailing to wounded, ill and injured service men and women,” said Betsy Alison, Paralympic Coach for US Sailing and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, the national sailing team. “US Sailing and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider are so pleased to be able to offer an experience which we hope will lead to ongoing pipeline programming for those with a physical disability and other accompanying injuries like TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).”

“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.”

US Sailing’s “Learn to Race” camps for veterans are designed to give athletics-minded military personnel an immersion experience in what it takes to become a Paralympic sailor. US Sailing instructors have found that the sport of sailing not only offers the opportunity to become competitive at a sport at the highest level, but provides an avenue for social and psychological reintegration of our service members back into everyday life. 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 US Sailing’s “Learn To Race” camps for veterans, please contact US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider Paralympic Coach Betsy Alison at betsysalison@ussailing.org 

 

About the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider 

The US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry Top-Sider; other sponsors include Harken and Team McLube. Yale Cordage is a team supplier. The US Sailing Center Miami is an Olympic training site. Oakcliff Sailing and Clearwater Community Sailing Center are US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider training centers. Chubb Personal Insurance sponsors US Sailing’s National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider athletes. 

The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org 

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.


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Press contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. willricketson@ussailing.org, (401) 683-0800 x621

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