The Challenged Athletes Foundation supports the athletic efforts of individuals with physical challenges. Rather than focusing on disability, this organization focuses on the abilities of athletes with physical challenges in order to create acceptance and respect.
The flagship of CAF programs, Access for Athletes provides funding grants for equipment that can enable athletes with disabilities to engage in adapted sporting activities, such as sports wheelchairs and sports prosthetics. Funding also helps individuals to obtain training and cover the cost of competition. These costs most often will not be covered by an individualís health insurance. Funding is made available for applying for grants from the program.
Operation Rebound provides sports and fitness programs for individuals who have been wounded while in services to this country in the military or as a first responder. This program helps fund equipment, training, and competition expenses, and also offers physical training and sports clinics.
The Catch a Rising Star program offers clinics and mentors for basic sports skills such as running, swimming, and handcycling to people who have suffered from traumatic injury, have a disabling disease, or congenital impairment, including neuromuscular disease. These clinics currently operate in nine states, with plans to add new clinics.
The Reach High program educates individuals and raises awareness about physical disability through educational outreach to a variety of organizations, such as schools, business, and youth groups. This program also provides referrals to individuals with physical challenges, helping to connect them to appropriate resources.
The Challenged Athletes Foundationís newest program, Project N.Ex.T. (New Expectations Today) mentors individuals with disability through connecting them to a mentee who has a similar disability. This program currently operates only in San Diego County, California.
Since 1994, the CAF has raised more than $47 million dollars and received over 8,200 requests for funding. The organization grew out of a group of friends who wished to support the recovery efforts of an athlete with physical challenges. According to their website, CAF outreach efforts reach 80,00 individuals each year.
In order to fund programs, CAF organizes events that not only raise money, but raise awareness regarding the challenges and successes of athletes with disabilities. Events include fitness walks, cycling, and triathlons. To find out more about how you can support the important mission of the CAF and how you might benefit from their programs, visit their website (below).
Challenged Athletes Foundation website. Retrieved on 6/7/13 from http://www.challengedathletes.org/site/c.4nJHJQPqEiKUE/b.6449023/k.BD6D/Home.htm