Funds to support Walter Reed paratriathlon military program and training camps
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Paratriathlon, a program of USA Triathlon, is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $65,000 grant from the Given Limb Foundation in order to support the organization’s growing paratriathlon military program.
The funding will help wounded soldiers participate in a five-month training program at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., set for May-September 2014 and culminating with participation at the 2014 Nation’s Triathlon, as well as a one-day kick-off camp at Walter Reed at the beginning of May. USA Paratriathlon also plans to host a three-day camp from March 27-29 at the San Antonio Military Hospital.
Through the training program and camps, USA Paratriathlon will introduce a minimum of 20 disabled veterans to multisport, with 10 spaces available in the Walter Reed program and 10-15 spaces at the camp in San Antonio. Outreach activities planned through the respective military hospitals will identify those with a genuine interest in learning about paratriathlon and continuing with the sport in the future.
“USA Paratriathlon is honored to receive this grant from the Given Limb Foundation and implement a training program at Walter Reed, which is something we have wanted to do for a few years,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, USA Triathlon Paratriathlon Program Manager. “We look forward to introducing wounded veterans to the sport of paratriathlon, with the aim of seeing these men and women on the podium at the ITU World Championships or Paralympic Games someday.”
Grant monies also will be used to help athletes in the Walter Reed training program find a USA Triathlon Certified Coach and join Team Z, a local USA Triathlon-certified club near the medical center. Additionally, the funding will assist athletes with the purchase of new paratriathlon equipment and entry fees for events.
“I have always been in awe of the sacrifices our service men and woman make on the behalf of others, and the Team Z coaching staff and team members are very thankful for the opportunity to give back to them,” said Ed Zerkle, founder and head coach of Team Z. The club will provide training plans, educational clinics, expert coaching, and motivational group workouts to athletes in the program.
Interest in paratriathlon is at an all-time high, and the sport continues to grow leading up to its debut at the Paralympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. Visit usaparatriathlon.org for more on the sport of paratriathlon.
About the Given Limb Foundation
The Given Limb Foundation was established in 2007. The idea for the foundation was conceived by Martha McDade after her brother-in-law, an Army doctor, returned from Iraq and described the nature of the injuries and long-term care needs of the injured soldiers. Since its launch, the foundation has sought, without overhead, to expand the supporting technologies and access opportunities for both civilian and military amputees. More information is available at givenlimb.org.
About USA Triathlon
Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon – the fastest growing sport in the U.S. Olympic Movement – as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with more than 550,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).