The 2019 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is just around the corner, and participants can apply now through Nov. 30.
DAV and the Department of Veteran Affairs co-host the event, which will be held March 31 to April 5, 2019, in Snowmass Village, Colo. Located near Aspen, the clinic hosts nearly 400 profoundly disabled veterans who learn to shred limitations, build new skills and gain confidence as they participate in activities like Alpine and Nordic skiing, sled hockey, cross-country skiing, scuba diving, fly-fishing, curling, snowmobiling and archery.
The clinic is a world leader in rehabilitation, with top-notch adaptive instructors who help restore veterans’ ability to lead active lives–some have gone on to compete in adaptive sports at an international level.
“Adaptive sports is one of the best ways for veterans to feel empowered despite their injuries,” said DAV National Voluntary Services Director John Kleindienst. “It gets them outside and gets them participating in events. They also build a bond and support their fellow veterans taking part in the clinic. It’s great for them to build new bonds, build new bodies and strengthen themselves mentally.”
“The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic uses adaptive sports as a rehabilitative tool to engage veterans in becoming active and involved again, with an ultimate goal of improving quality of life; becoming active and healthy; and improving overall mental, physical and psychological health,” said Teresa Parks, clinic director for the VA. “While our overall focus is better health, for veterans who develop a passion for adaptive skiing, the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic has been instrumental in assisting many veterans to compete at the highest level possible, to include the Paralympics.”
The clinic is open to veterans with disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, visual impairment and amputations who receive their care at a VA hospital or medical center, or a military treatment center.
By attending adaptive sports clinics, veterans have the opportunity to relieve stress and reduce reliance on medications while gaining independence and empowerment in their lives.
“We’re so proud of our winter sports clinic veterans,” said DAV National Headquarters Executive Director Barry Jesinoski. “DAV is honored to be a part of something that has such a positive outcome for those veterans. It’s truly amazing to see the veterans become highly skilled athletes. When we say, ‘I can’t,’ and then look at what these veterans are accomplishing … it puts things into perspective.”