More VA money released for veteran sports therapies

Jonathan Kaupanger
October 08, 2018 - 1:47 pm

Photo by Veterans Affairs

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There’s water skiing for New Mexico disabled veterans, Texas vets can play wheelchair bocce and in Pennsylvania, there’s the brand new veteran equine therapy. VA’s Adaptive Sports Program (ASG) & Paralympic Allowances are out and not only is there more money available, but now you have more time to apply to the programs.

The ASG program is how VA expands both the quality and quantity of sustainable adaptive sports activities for disabled veterans.  The main focus of these grants is to provide more programs in local communities, especially for veterans with mental health issues.  The full list of the special programs for 2019 is here. If you find a program that interests you, check with your local VAMC to see how you can participate.  

On the national level, there are several partnerships and programs to check out: 

Photo by Veterans Affairs

  • National Veterans Golden Age Games (NVGAG).  Open to veterans 55 years old and older and who are eligible for VA health care, the 2019 games are set for June 5 – 10 in Anchorage, AK.  There are 17 different sports represented that are sorted into three different divisions: Ambulatory, visually impaired and wheelchair.
  • National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic (NDVQSC).  Taking place March 31 – April 5 in Snowmass Village, CO, NDVQSC promotes sports therapy and rehabilitation through adaptive Alpine and Nordic skiing and other adaptive physical activities.  Veterans may also participate in workshops and educational sessions designed to build on the experience.  Veterans may apply for this program through November 30.

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  • National Veterans Creative Arts Competition and Festival (NVCAF).  In this program, VA shows how to use creative arts for both mental and physical veteran rehabilitation.  There are categories in creative writing, dance, drama, music and visual arts.  This year’s winning veterans are set to show off November 1 – 4 in Des Moines, IA.  Competition for 2019 starts at your local VAMC on January 1.

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  • National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic (NVSSC).  Specifically for veterans with significant physical or psychological impairments, NVSSC teaches rehabilitation of body and spirit through summer sports.  
  • Monthly Assistance Allowance Program.  VA provides a monthly stipend for veterans with service-connected disabilities if they are actively training or competing as an emerging athlete.  To receive this allowance, veterans must meet the criteria established by the sport governing body or if they are selected as a member of the National Paralympic Team.  Apply for this benefit here.  

Photo by Veterans Affairs

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