It is the time of the year that veterans display their tenacity, determination and fighting spirit once again. As the world’s largest annual wheelchair sports event approaches, many are getting ready to compete.
National Veterans Wheelchair Games or NVWG is a rehabilitation program and sports event for military service veterans who use mobility devices or wheelchairs to compete in games and sports due to multiple sclerosis, SCI or spinal cord injuries, certain neurological problems, or amputations. Its main goal is to empower these veterans and encourage them to continue to live actively and healthily through recreation and sports. The NVWG is held annually and each year, hundreds of veterans all over the nation travel and come together to compete and enjoy the games.
Since 1985, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) have teamed up to combine their efforts and work collaboratively in order to organize, systematize, and carry out the NVWG. The partnership brings together the strengths of both dedicated organizations to make the NVWG a world class event and the biggest annual wheelchair sports program.
The PVA chapters across US and the Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Programs encourage veterans to be involved in recreation programs and sports highlighting social networking, fitness, and community involvement. The organizations reinforce critical values necessary for healthy and active living through sports and recreation programs while fighting the risk of depression, isolation, and other health-related factors.
The 2015 NVWG is being hosted by the and the Texas Veterans Affairs Health Care System. The games will take place in Dallas from June 21 to 26. Big arrangements and plans are going on and the Dallas team and volunteers are working hard and giving their best to welcome the excited veterans this summer and make the 35th NVWG a huge success.
To compete in the 2015 NVWG, here are things to follow:
- Registration - Registration is still going. The deadline is April 15, 2015. All completed forms for registration must be returned and post-marked before the deadline. It is recommended to register as early as you can because events fill up fast.
- Preparations – It is highly encouraged that every veteran desiring to compete must make their preparations as early as possible. Athletes must contact their VA therapist to start.
Competitive games in the event include:
- Air guns
- Table tennis
- Hand cycling
- A motorized wheelchair rally
- Quad rugby
- Power soccer
Robert McDonald, Veterans Affairs Secretary, encourages all eligible veterans of the country to grab the opportunity and participate in the games to prove that disability is never a hindrance and to show that it does not mean inability.