The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s Disability Services Division has received a grant award

The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s Disability Services Division has received a grant award of $70,330 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under the Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs for Disabled Veterans and Disabled Members of the Armed Forces Program. The funds will help to increase and expand adaptive sports opportunities for Miami-Dade Parks’ V.I.C.T.O.R. Adapted Sports Program (Veterans Integrated into the Community through Outdoor Recreation.)

The free program engages disabled veterans in a variety of health-and-wellness-oriented adapted sports activities that are created or modified for people with disabilities, as a means to cope with trauma, stress, and to improve physical fitness, and build self-esteem. It is aimed at individuals with spinal cord injuries, nervous systems disorders, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, as well as amputees and those with range of motion limitations, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), among others.

The sports clinics offered in this program include: Archery, Boccia, Fishing, Hand-cycling, Trap Shooting, Waterskiing, Wheelchair Basketball, and Wheelchair Slalom.  Upon completion of the sports clinics, participants will have the opportunity to continue in the activities free of charge (excludes trap shooting.)

Many program participants take part in Miami-Dade Parks’ annual Paralympic Experience at Tropical Park (taking place this month- Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.), as well as regional and national sports events. They also receive mentor-ship from the Parks Department’s own Miami HEAT Wheels wheelchair basketball team.

Partners include the Leisure Access Foundation, therapists from the Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Miami, the Miami Veterans Medical Center, the Paralyzed Veterans of America Florida Chapter, and Ann’s Angels Adaptive Waterski Foundation

For more information about Miami-Dade Parks’ Veterans Adapted Sports Program, contact Jody Cox, CTRS at 305-234-1673 or Jody.Cox@miamidade.gov.

The Miami-Dade County Parks Disability Services division promotes the involvement of persons with disabilities in all Miami-Dade County Parks’ services and activities.  As both a Paralympic Sports Club and BlazeSports Club they train persons with physical and visual impairments desiring to engage in recreational and competitive adaptive sports.  For more information visit the web page.

Miami-Dade Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 270 parks and 13,573 acres of land. It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world and focused on Placemaking, Health and Fitness and Conservation and Stewardship. The non-profit Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade supports Miami-Dade Parks’ efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors.