National Veterans Wheelchair Games

Each year more than 500 novice and experienced athletes meet for a week of archery, swimming, weightlifting, basketball, quad rugby and more. It’s the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, the largest annual wheelchair sports competition of its kind in the world.

Throughout the week, veterans realize their abilities and potential while enjoying the spirit of healthy activity and fellowship. Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Department of Veterans Affairs have co-presented the Games since 1985.

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34th NVWG August 2014, Philladephia, PA

Adaptive wheelchair sports and recreation were paved by returning soldiers disabled from their service in WWII. These soldiers sought to regain strength and function from recreational activities that were familiar to them from their youth. As a result of these military personnel returning with debilitating injuries and being treated in VA hospitals across the country, wheelchair basketball became a popular daily activity. As interest in wheelchair basketball grew, it sparked interest in other sports and moved from recreational sports to competitive sports.
In 1980, the VA established a Recreation Therapy Service. That VA effort brought about an enhanced awareness of the rehabilitative value of wheelchair athletics. In 1981, the first National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) where held in Richmond, VA. Since then the NVWG have grown to be recognized as the largest wheelchair sporting event in the world. The NVWG offers 19 different sports to Veterans who use wheelchairs due to spinal cord injuries, amputations and neurological diseases. The Games promote rehabilitation through rigorous competition in such events as basketball, quad rugby, softball, handcycling, power soccer, trapshooting, track, field, softball, bowling, 9 Ball, table tennis, archery, air rifle and pistol, motor rally, slalom, boccia ball, weight lifting, swimming and others.
This year’s NVWG were hosted by the Philadelphia VAMC Aug 12-17, 2014. The SE PVA and VAMC were represented by a 34 member team. Our team included veterans who are served by the Charlie Norwood VAMC, Dublin VAMC, Atlanta VAMC and the Salisbury VAMC. We had a total of 5 Novice (first time participants) at the games this year. Our mission is to reach veterans who may not be aware of adaptive sports opportunities available to them. We are able to utilize the NVWG as an introductory resource for veterans to seek opportunities in their own communities.

Here are some photos from the Games in Philly. CONGRATS to all of the athletes!

 

32nd National Veterans Wheelchair Games Richmond, VA   

SEPVA has 33 members participating in Richmond, Virginia this week. Novices and returning athletes alike are already having fun with competitions and camaraderie with fellow veterans from all over the US. Please check back for more photos and updates from SEPVA members.

Below are pictures from this week’s games in Richmond.