Challenged Athletes Foundation Launches Virtual High School Adaptive Sports Program

April 6, 2021

Adaptive training program creates new sports opportunities across the country for high school and middle school students with physical challenges

SAN DIEGO, CA – April 6, 2021 – The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) announced today the launch of its High School Adaptive Sports Program, presented by Kenneth Whalen Family Foundation. With 100 registered athletes to date, the first-of-its-kind, virtual program focuses on track & field and will be offered to youth athletes ages 11-18 all over the United States. Beginning April 5th, this year’s High School Adaptive Sports Program provides student athletes with six weeks of expert coaching, training tutorials, SKLZ® equipment essentials and grant opportunities so they can prepare, participate and excel on their High School teams.

“Participating in athletics is an incredible opportunity for students to find connection with their school and our goal is to create inclusive high school teams with student athletes of all abilities,” says CAF Director of Programs, Travis Ricks. “The program will be both informative and motivating. By learning new training techniques, student athletes can build their confidence to be ready to compete at a higher-level once adaptive sports competitions start up again.”

The disciplines offered in the High School Adaptive Sports Program are ambulatory sprints, ambulatory throws, seated throws and wheelchair racing.  All coaches for the program are either U.S. Track & Field Paralympians, National Team Members or USOPC staff. Coaches include 2X Paralympic Track & Field Medalist, Kym Crosby-Hightower, U.S. Paralympic Strength & Conditioning Coach, Gustavo Osorio, U.S. Track & Field National Team Member, Justin Phongsavanh and 2X Paralympian in Track & Field, Erik Hightower.

The program is designed for student athletes in both middle and high school who do not have access to in-person training and serves as an additional resource for those who do have access to in-person programming, like a school team or other adaptive sports organization.

The High School Adaptive Sports Program was launched in 2019 as a platform to help increase awareness and support for student-athletes with physical disabilities. Through multiple partnerships, the CAF High School Adaptive Sports Program has created resources for athletes, parents, coaches, administration, and healthcare professionals to learn about scholastic sport opportunities for youth adaptive athletes.

All registered athletes will receive a package provided by CAF equipment partner, SKLZ® with strength and conditioning equipment based on the discipline they have registered for. Additional discipline-specific equipment and resources are available for wheelchair racers, seated throwing, and ambulatory throwing athletes.

Since 1994, the Challenged Athletes Foundation has been leading the way in the world of adaptive sports. The mission was created to answer the needs of individuals with physical challenges wanting to participate and compete in sports.

CAF is incredibly grateful for the sponsors who made this life-changing program possible including Presenting Sponsor, Kenneth Whalen Family Foundation and other funders: IMPLUS, Inc., SKLZ, The Franklin and Catherine Johnson Foundation and The Foundation for Global Sports Development.

For information on the CAF High School Adaptive Sports Program please visit our website at https://www.challengedathletes.org/hsadaptivesports/.

To see CAF’s library of adaptive Track & Field instructional video content, visit https://www.challengedathletes.org/track-field-videos/

For interested middle and high school-aged athletes, please contact CAF for additional resources, contacts, or assistance at highschoolsports@challengedathletes.org.

About 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 $134 million has been raised and over 35,000 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.


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