VA awards adaptive sports grants for Veterans
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it will award nearly $15 million to 119 national, regional and community programs, headquartered in 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Programs funded through these grants will offer adaptive sports and activities to more than 13,000 Veterans and members of the Armed Forces with disabilities.
Included are Paralympic sports, such as archery, cycling and skiing. Additional outdoor sporting activities are hunting, rock climbing and sky diving. Of the total, $1.5 million is being used to support organizations that offer equine-assisted therapy to support mental health.
“Adaptive sports empower Veterans to overcome daily challenges and live without limits,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This is made possible by partnering with over 100 community organizations dedicated to providing adaptive sports and activities to encourage Veterans along their health and wellness journey.”
Grant recipients may use the funds for planning, developing, managing and implementing adaptive sports programs. VA will award the grants to national governing bodies, which prepare high-level athletes for Paralympic competition; Veterans Service Organizations; city and regional municipalities; and other community groups to provide a wide range of adaptive sports opportunities.
Adaptive Sports Grant Program
The Adaptive Sports Grant Program is facilitated and managed by the National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events Office (NVSP&SE). The mission of the NVSP&SE office is to provide opportunities for Veterans to improve their independence, well-being, and quality of life through adaptive sports and therapeutic arts programs. VA awards grants to qualifying organizations to plan, develop, manage, and implement programs to provide adaptive sports opportunities for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces as authorized under 38 United States Code 521A.
Grant Application Process
The application period is currently closed.
To be eligible for a grant, an organization must be a non-federal entity with significant experience in managing a large-scale adaptive sports program. As per 38 Code of Federal Regulations 77, criteria for inclusion is defined as programs that are (1) affiliated with a National Paralympic Committee or a National Governing Body authorized to provide Paralympic sports, (2) an adaptive sports program of a National Governing Body that meets additional requirements, or (3) an adaptive sports program in which at least 50 persons with disabilities participate or the eligible participants reside in at least five different congressional districts.
Of note, federal agencies are not eligible to receive grant funding through the Adaptive Sports Grant Program. Federal agencies are encouraged to partner with non-federal entities to jointly create national, regional, and community-based programs that provide adaptive sports activities for disabled Veterans and members of the Armed Forces.
VA issues a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) through the federal government’s designated grant portal (grants.gov). Please see the “Apply” tab for detailed information on the application process.
- Adaptive sports activities that are authorized under the Adaptive Sports Grant Program:
- Instruction, participation, and competition in adaptive sports;
- Training and technical assistance to program administrators, coaches, recreation therapists, instructors, VA employees, and other appropriate individuals; and
- Coordination, Paralympic classification of athletes, athlete assessment, sport-specific training techniques, program development (including programs at the local level), sports equipment, supplies, program evaluation, and other activities related to the implementation and operation of the program.
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