U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), announced that has been selected to receive USATT 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.
“USA Table Tennis is honored to be selected as one of the recipients of the 2014 VA/USOC Grant”, said Jasna Rather, USATT Para Program Director.” “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.”
2014 VA Table Tennis program would serve disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces at six sites:
- Arlington, TX
- Portland, OR
- San Antonio, TX
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Virginia Beach, VA
Prospective athletes will benefit from a concentrated program including exhibitions, instruction, play, classification and competition. Para sites are chosen where infrastructure, including local clubs and coaching already exist, so there will be a natural recovery/rehabilitation continuum once the introductory program is completed. Each of the six sites will organize an introductory 3 day intensive camp staffed by high level coaches (May or June 2014). Players will receive demonstrations, instruction on the rules and coaching to develop playing ability. Coaches, Paralympians and local athletes would take part of the program to stimulate interest and demonstrate the possibilities. Program would continue with weekly organized training and local tournament opportunities (July/August 2014).