In what organizers are hoping will be just the beginning in a series of athletic events curtailed toward the disabled community, the 2013 Valor Games have arrived in San Mateo county.
The College of San Mateo will be the place to be on Wednesday for those wanting to watch the Valor Games Far West, a three-day introductory sports competition for veterans and service members with physical disabilities. Community partners who provide ongoing opportunities in adapted sport will manage the competitions and meet the veterans who live in their area. This event will be a catalyst for a year-round engagement in recreational activity and healthy lifestyles.
Opening Ceremonies for the Valor Games Far West were held in at the amphitheater in Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park, Foster City on Tuesday. The festivities gave way to the archery competition and featured several elite-level archers with disabilities as mentors, including Paralympic gold medalist Jeff Fabry.
The second day of competition is scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. start on the College of San Mateo campus.
The day begins with the powerlighting competition alongside coaches Butch Schovanec and Mary Hodge.
Organizers have a series of demonstrations planned for the same time slot.
Eileen Carey of IPC Biathlon will host a biathlon demonstration. Other activities in the Paralympic experience includes: Goalball (hosted by Brandon Young and Jonathan Newman, both paralympians), golf (hosted by Wes Armstrong of Full Swing Golf), sitting volleyball (hosted by paralympian Katie Halloway), wheelchair basketball and wheelchair super X (hosted by Trevor “Trevair” Snowden).
The day will conclude with a 1 p.m. competition over at the CSM throwing field where the discus and shot put will be decided.
An evening social is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start at Sparky’s Hot Rod Garage in San Carlos.
June 13 is the final day of competition and it takes place at Candlestick Park.
The morning cycling event will take place in the expansive parking lot and features instruction from U.S. paralympian Kelly Crowley, who won two bronze medals in the 2012 London Paralympic Games.
Veterans will ride different types of cycles depending on their physical abilities. The closing ceremony will follow at noon, inside the stadium and features a catered lunch.
The event provides lodging and meals at no charge to the participants.
Qualifying athletes include veterans or active duty service members from any era. Physical disabilities may fall into the following categories: amputation/limb loss, post-traumatic stress, spinal cord injuries, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, visual impairment and any disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Valor Games Series was established in 2011 by World Sport Chicago in partnership with U.S. Paralympics and VA to provide an introductory sports competition for veterans and service members with a disability and to promote sports at the community level.
The Far West Wheelchair Athletic Association, the organizing body of these Valor Games, has provided sport and recreation opportunities to individuals with disabilities in the region for over 40 years.
Eight paralympic sport clubs will manage the competition each day and meet the veterans in their communities, engaging them for future opportunities to be active throughout the year. The event is designed to be a catalyst for this interaction and ongoing athlete development.
To learn more about the sports being offered and view the entire event schedule, please visit www.valorgamesfarwest.com.