The 34th National Veterans Wheelchair Games are going to be in Philadelphia this year and the organizers at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center are looking for volunteers to help out for at least 8 hours from Aug. 12-17.
The games are cosponsored by the VA and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. More than 600 athletes in wheelchairs will gather from across the country, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom to compete in 18 events from track and field to bowling and trap shooting. This event is the largest multi-sport wheelchair competition in the world and requires more than 2,500 volunteers to support the event.
Register to volunteer and find out about the games here; the deadline for registering is July 5.
Volunteers must be over 14 years old, and families can volunteer as a group. We invite those younger than 14 to attend as spectators. Many events will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia, but volunteers and spectators are also needed at other Philadelphia and nearby New Jersey venues.
The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is a sports and rehabilitation program for military service Veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competitions due to spinal cord injuries, amputation, or certain neurological problems. This annual event showcases the athletic abilities of our nation’s Veterans who have overcome the challenges of their disabilities to compete and win in the sports they love.
As one volunteer put it, “Working with these Veterans is a life changing experience. If you have any medical problem, these athletes will teach you that there are no limits to what you can do if you try. You may just get more out of it than those you are helping.”
But don’t take our word for it; check out this video from one of our Philly star basketball players. Then, go to www.wheelchairgames.va.gov to see how you can volunteer to support the games, or find out where you can go to cheer our athletes on and see where heroes will make history.
Jennifer Askey is the public affairs officer for the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. She is responsible for all internal and external communications for the facility located in the 5th largest metropolitan area in the country, serving more than 58,000 Veterans both at the main hospital and in its four community-based outpatient clinics. She has more than 25 years of experience in public affairs as a civilian in the Department of Defense and VA, and in the private sector.