Wednesday, 22 October 2014 17:00

DisAbility Sports Festival emerges as a New Model for Growing Adaptive Sports Participation

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All of the coaches who supervise the participants are elite level adaptive sports athletes, including US Paralympians Angela Madsen (Track & Field, Rowing), Mark Wellman (Skiing), Anthony Lara (Tennis) and World Champions Janice Walth (Blind Archery) and Bill Davis (Blind Golf). After trying a sport at the festival, athletes can connect with local programs to get started on a regular active participation, which is the ultimate goal of growing the adaptive sports community and the Paralympic movement.

With Southern California's deep connection to the US Military, the event routinely draws a large contingent of Veterans from the VA Hospitals in Long Beach, Westwood and nearby Loma Linda University. DisAbility Sports Festival founder Dr. Moffett deep ties with adaptive sports programs for US Military Veterans, serving as swim coach and consultant for the US Navy, US Marine Corps, and US Air Force Wounded Warrior programs. Earlier this year, he was hired by the Air Force to develop adaptive sports programming for their Wounded Warriors and has spent much of the year helping injured, ill, and wounded service personnel heal and rehabilitate through a holistic approach to training and participating in elite adpative sports competitions such as the recent Warrior Games and Endeavor Games.

"I have seen our wounded warriors come alive through participating in disability sport," said Dr. Moffett. "It helps them redefine their mission and give them the sense of purpose that many have been missing since their injury, illness or wound."

Major Kevin Conley, US Army Engineer and a participant at the DisAbility Sports Festival said "This was one of the few times I felt alive again since I got back from Afghanistan."

One of the sports offered for the first time in 2014 was Biathlon, a rarity in the Southern California desert region. Rob Rosser, US Army Veteran, current US Paralympic Biathlon coach, and former US Olympian in the sport, introduced athletes to the sport with a ski simulator and the electronic rifle / targets. Many participants had never heard of the sport and were eager to test their skills under Rosser's expert tutelage.

US Paralympic Judo Coach Walter Dean was on-hand for the second consecutive year through his affiliation with the Blind Judo Foundation. Dean was joined by US Judo Association President Gary Goltz, both of whom have extensive backgrounds coaching athletes with disabilities in Judo and a long history working with visually impaired and blind Veterans.

After eight very successful years in Southern California the event series is poised for growth as organizers are in discussions to bring the DisAbility Sports Festival to additional cities across the US, including a NY/NJ event planned for Spring of 2015. A second event in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, CA will be held in January.

Support for the 2014 DisAbility Sports Festival at CSUSB was provided by Molina Healthcare, Hanger Prosthetics, WheelchairParts.net, Center for Disability Access, Inland Empire Health Plan, Numotion and Loma Linda University Medical Center/PossAbilities.

For more information visit http://disabilitysports.csusb.edu/festival.html
Twitter: @DisSportsFest
Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / (909) 537-5352
Event hashtag: #DSFSoCal

Photo Gallery: http://on.fb.me/1obLvIJ

{slimbox images/stories/2014.Blog/dsf_2014_archery.jpg,images/stories/2014.Blog/dsf_2014_archery.jpg,Archery at the 2014 DisAbility Sports Festival;images/stories/2014.Blog/dsf_imag0658.jpg,images/stories/2014.Blog/dsf_imag0658.jpg,Biathlon at the 2014 DisAbility Sports Festival;images/stories/2014.Blog/dsf_imag0680_1.jpg,images/stories/2014.Blog/dsf_imag0680_1.jpg,Judo at the 2014 DisAbility Sports Festival}

 

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