Sports

May 31, 2013

Desert Challenge competitors train at Luke

Retired Army Staff Sgt. Nick McCoy trains for the challenge May 16 at Luke softball field.

What thoughts come to mind when hearing that a person has any of the following: vision impairment, traumatic brain injury, amputation, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or spinal cord injury?

Probably not an athletic competitor.

Fourteen U.S. Paralympic competitors trained at the Luke Air Force Base Fitness Center May 13 through 17 to prepare for the Desert Challenge that took place May 18 in Mesa.

“This is important because it allows service members an opportunity to compete and realize that getting back into sports or finding sports can be a huge lift in their lives,” said Harrison Ruzicka, retired Army corporal and Desert Challenge Games competitor.

The Desert Challenge Games is a regional competition for individuals with physical disabilities. The event is open to U.S. and international male and female athletes with permanent physical disabilities age 6 through adulthood who are interested in competitive athletics.

The participants training at Luke AFB competed in shot put, discus, javelin; 100-, 200-, and 400-meter wheelchair and ambulatory sprints; and a 1,500- and 5,000-meter ambulatory run.

Retired Army Staff Sgt. Nick McCoy trains May 16 at the Luke softball field. McCoy competed in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter wheelchair sprints at the games.

“We brought the athletes into the environment they will compete in to help them acclimate and get a week of training with national team coaches,” said Kallie Quinn, U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Division associate emerging sports program director. “It’s great for our athletes (who are prior military) to train here, because they are able to re-engage with a military community.”

The athletes received guidance from four national team coaches.

“It’s been great to have the paralympic coaches instruct us with their level of training,” Ruzicka said. “It gets better each time I go to camp, and I improve because of the coaches brought in.”

For Ruzicka, participating in events like the Desert Challenge isn’t just about competing.

“I’ve gotten in much better shape since getting involved in these events, as well as meeting others who have gone through similar circumstances,” he said. “We share stories. It makes it easier on me, and I’m sure for some of the others as well to find that community (brotherhood) again that is such a big part of the military.”

Scot Severn prepares to throw the javelin May 18 during the Desert Challenge Games 2013 at Red Mountain High School in Mesa. The games are a multiday competition for individuals age 6 through adulthood with a physical disability.

 

Retired Army Cpl. Harrison Ruzicka prepares to throw a disc during a Desert Challenge training session May 16 at the Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center softball field. Fourteen U.S. Paralympic competitors trained May 13 through May 17 at Luke for the Desert Challenge on May 18 in Mesa.

 

Gabe Gerbic competes in the discus May 18 during the Desert Challenge Games 2013 at Red Mountain High School in Mesa. The host organization of the games is Arizona Disabled Sports, which leads in Arizona providing athletic opportunities for disabled athletes.

 

Gabriel Scalan, 7, throws the discus during the games May 18.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Lightening-within-five

Lightning over Luke …

The F-35 Lightning II isn’t the only lightning striking over Luke Air Force Base. This strike, about five miles west of the Luke flightline, was captured on camera at 1:12 a.m. Aug. 12 at the jet engine test cell.
 
 

Program smooths change from military to civilian life

It can be difficult to find work in today’s economy, even more so for families that are moving to a new area or families that are transitioning from military to civilian life. One program available to veterans is the Workforce Investment Act, which can help veterans have a smooth transition to civilian work. The 56th...
 
 

New form second chance to do EPRs right

Without fail, every time I am around a group of young NCOs, there is one subject guaranteed to come up — the enduring question of “How can I write a stronger EPR for my Airman?” My answer to this question is fairly standard and is one that a chief shared with me many years ago....
 

 

Plan for final out

How many of you are prepared for life outside of the military? Seriously, if you were told tomorrow was your final out, what would you do? We are currently in an environment where Defense Department rollbacks are a serious issue we must all contemplate. Fewer officers are being commissioned. Last year there was only one...
 
 

News Briefs August 22, 2014

Commander’s call Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, will hold a commander’s call Monday in the Luke Air Force Base theater at 7 a.m. for Airmen, 9 a.m. for NCOs, 11 a.m. for senior NCOs, 1 p.m. for civilians, 3 p.m. for officers and 5 p.m. for those not able to make another...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
JAMES HENSLEY

Commandant challenges students to be best

Airman 1st ClassJAMES HENSLEY Master Sgt. Sheris Poisson, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School commandant, briefs students Aug. 12 about the active-shooter exercise Aug. 15 at Luke Air Force Base. Poisson asked ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin