Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Innovates New Experiential Offerings for Fundraisers, Supporters, Cyclists and Endurance Athletes of All Abilities

May 21, 2020

Shared technology with #TeamCAF keeps athletes of all abilities moving, building community and staying connected through sport

SAN DIEGO, CA – May 21, 2020 – In a world of rapidly advancing technology, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) remains dedicated to innovating new ways for individuals with physical challenges to gain access to sports. To coincide with Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on May 21, CAF has launched the “Let’s Keep Moving” fundraising campaign celebrating the role of technology in living an active lifestyle. Additionally, new online offerings like the Jensie Ride for Challenged Athletes presented on Zwift, the virtual Cycling Club, and an AirBnB challenged athlete experience will allow athletes of all abilities to stay connected through the power of sport.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) was launched to highlight the need for increased digital accessibility. “Now more than ever, accessible technology options are crucial for athletes of all abilities to train, stay active and connect,” says Bob Babbitt, CAF Co-Founder. “We are thrilled to offer more options to engage our athletic-minded community and fund our mission during these tough times.”

“Let’s Keep Moving” Challenge
In alignment with Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), beginning May 21, CAF kicks off its Let’s Keep Moving promotion to raise money for CAF’s mission while getting people active and sharing stories of the technology that helps them pursue their athletic goals. Athletes are encouraged to share on social media how technology keeps them moving and powering through challenging times. Whether it’s joining an online yoga class, tracking miles with Strava or joining a virtual run or ride, athletes of all abilities are encouraged to “keep moving.”

For inspiration, the CAF calendar is populated with fun, free and inclusive workouts and registration is free. All who register will receive a 30% off coupon to the online CAF brand store and Accenture, CAF’s global partner, will make a donation to CAF in their name. Those who donate $30 will receive a CAF branded sports neck buff. Throughout the month, CAF will present weekly surprise giveaways to randomly selected registered participants.

To launch this promotion, CAF will be sharing the stories of endurance athletes that continue to use technology to transform their athleticism and enhance their performance. Featured athletes include Paralympian and NCAA track and field athlete, bilateral amputee, Hunter Woodhall and IRONMAN® para-triathlete inspirations, Rob Balucas and Glenn Hartrick.

  • Born with a congenital condition, Hunter Woodhall had both legs amputated below the knee before the age of one. Doctors told him he would never walk… so he learned to run instead. Hunter went on to make history as the first double-amputee to earn an NCAA Division I scholarship in track and field and is now a three-time NCAA All American and a two-time Paralympic medalist. He continues to train using online coaching plans, and recently challenged fellow amputees to a virtual run. Watch here.
  • In 2015, while Rob Balucas was training for a half IRONMAN, he lost control of his bicycle, crashed and sustained a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Within 10 days, Rob had recovered enough to begin increasing his activity levels in a wheelchair. He was back to training, but this time as a para-triathlete on a handcycle. He used the Strava app to track his rehab and then worked closely with the engineers to include a handcycle mode for accurate routes and times. Since then, he has crossed many finish lines including the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France.
  • Avid triathlete Glenn Hartrick was on a routine training ride one morning in 2014 when he was involved in a cycling accident that resulted in injuries that would change his life forever. The impact instantly paralyzed him and he would never walk again. While recovering in the hospital, he would sample the wheelchairs, turn on the Strava app and circle the parking lot. “It was important for me to measure my success in a different way,” he said. “Setting Strava segments in the parking lot was positive reinforcement for me to push every day.” It didn’t take long for Glenn to get fitted for his first handcycle which he used to compete in the NYC Marathon less than a year after his accident. Strava and Zwift gave him the opportunity to monitor and measure his goals while serving as motivation for IRONMAN Florida and IRONMAN World Championship as a para-triathlete.

Virtual Cycling Event with Jens Voigt

On May 30, Zwift cyclists will ride shoulder to shoulder with world famous cycling legend, Jens Voigt. Jens, a passionate CAF supporter, will host a 60-minute social ride on the online virtual platform.  He will be accompanied by Paralympians Oksana Masters and Mohamed Lahna along with other accomplished challenged athlete cyclists. The “Jensie Ride for Challenged Athletes” is free of charge but those that donate will be entered in a raffle for a chance to win a signed jersey, CAF Swag Bag, a CAF Cycling Club membership, and more.  Cyclists worldwide will ride together as they connect through the power of sport and raise funds for athletes with physical challenges. Register here: https://www.zwift.com/events/view/814161

CAF Cycling Club

Cyclists worldwide can now connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for cycling and a desire to support the CAF mission. Group rides and community building events are offered across multiple online and real-time platforms such as Strava, Facebook, Zwift, Peloton and Zoom that connect them with #TeamCAF from anywhere in the world. Unlike traditional cycling clubs that are confined by geography and skill level, the CAF Cycling Club is for anyone anywhere. Supporters, fundraisers and cyclists of all abilities worldwide are encouraged to join the CAF Cycling Club as a way to build community, train, and live a healthy lifestyle. Virtual cycling challenges, sample training plans, how-to videos and other online activities create a strong community of cyclists. Gift memberships are also available. Register here: https://www.challengedathletes.org/caf-cycle-club/

AirBnB Online Experiences

Launching on Global Accessibility Awareness Day is an exciting Airbnb Online Experience with CAF athlete Mike Coots. Mike is a shark attack survivor, adaptive surfer, shark advocate and esteemed photographer who will combine all of these into a virtual experience learning about sharks and photography from beautiful places around the world. The experience is part of AirBnB’s Social Impact Program to benefit CAF. Book today here: https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/1729991

About the Challenged Athletes Foundation

The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.  Since 1994, more than $123 million has been raised and over 30,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts impact another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles. To learn more, visit challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.

About Accenture
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services in strategy and consulting, interactive technology and operations, with digital capabilities across all of these services. We combine unmatched experience and specialized capabilities across more than 40 industries — powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. With 509,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture brings continuous innovation to help clients improve their performance and create lasting value across their enterprises. Visit us at www.accenture.com.