The 35th National Veterans Wheelchair Games is just around the corner and it is time to register and begin preparing to rip it up in Dallas this summer.
Hosted by the North Texas VA Health Care System and the Lone Star Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the City of Dallas is preparing to welcome the Veterans at the 2015 National Veterans Wheelchair Games, June 21-26, 2015. Be one of the estimated 600 Veterans to compete in 18 wheelchair sports to challenge yourself and your fellow Veterans while demonstrating to all the spectators that “disability doesn’t mean inability.”
Co-presented by VA and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games is a rehabilitation and wheelchair sports program empowering Veterans to live more active and healthy lives through wheelchair sports and recreation. Veterans with a spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, amputation or other neurological injury that uses wheelchair for sport, and are eligible for care in the VA can participate.
As a prior recreation therapist at the Seattle VA Medical Center, the Games were part of our rehab program to get Veterans involved in sports and fitness throughout the year. After 22 years of working around the Games, I am always awed by the reaction of Veterans when they first enter into the Opening Ceremonies and realize they are part of a huge community. It is overwhelming and sets the tone that encourages Veterans to compete and push through their events to levels they previously didn’t think possible. I’ve seen countless Veterans experience life changing events during the week inspiring them to go home and challenge the barriers they were struggling. It keeps me coming back! Come be part of the Games community!
If you are interested, the 2015 NVWG registrations are available at www.wheelchairgames.org. Don’t wait, the events fill up fast and no applications after April 15, 2015, are accepted. Talk with your local VA rehabilitation therapist and get their help to get involved. If you are a returning Veteran to the Games, we look forward to seeing you in Dallas. If you are new and considering participating, call us at (202) 560-7352 and we will help get you started.
Dave Tostenrude, director of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games