The city’s Therapeutic Recreation Program has received $31,000 “to continue programming for injured service members and veterans in Colorado Springs,” the city said Thursday.
The grant funds came from two sources.
The U.S. Olympic Committee’s U.S. Paralympics division contributed $11,000 through funding from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The National Recreation and Park Association’s Parks: Return & Restore program, a partnership between U.S. Paralympics and NRPA, contributed $20,000.
“The TR Program has been fortunate to be recipients of these grants,” Diane Ridderhoff, program supervisor, said in a statement.
“Over the years we have been thrilled to witness changes in physical activity and self-confidence through participation in program activities of biathlon, adaptive cycling, and adaptive sports. We look forward to continuing to grow our programming to benefit disabled service members in our community by implementing additional activities of archery, “Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies”, and more adaptive sports. We’ve seen firsthand the transformation of injured service members that can happen through sport and physical activity, from overall improved health, to adjustment to disability and maximizing individuals’ abilities, to transitioning back into the local community,” she said.
The funding will allow the program “to offer adaptive sports and physical training opportunities for injured service members and expand opportunities for injured veterans in the Colorado Springs community,” the city said.
The city also said the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded more than $4.4 million in grants ranging from $2,500 to $500,000 to 95 community organizations around the country this year.
Those grants “were provided to increase the number and quality of opportunities for physically or visually impaired Veterans to participate in physical activity within their home communities and in more advanced Paralympic sport programs at the regional and national levels,” the city said.
“This funding is already having a tremendous impact on disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement.
“Through the USOC/Veterans Affairs partnership many community programs have been able to expand their programming and provide increased opportunities for Veterans to participate.”