NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The 2014 Air Force Wounded Warriors Trials will begin here April 7.
The trials will last until April 11, where wounded warriors will compete in various events to see if they can make the U.S. Air Force Wounded Warrior team.
“We have close to 100 athletes coming from across the United States to compete for the 40 positions on the U.S. Air Force team,” said Jeffrey McClish, U.S. Air Force recovery care coordinator for Nev., Utah and Edwards AFB Calif. “The 40 chosen will represent our Air Force at the 2014 Warrior Games this fall.”
There will be seven events during the trials which include archery, basketball, cycling, track and field, swimming, shooting and volleyball.
Wounded warriors participating in the camp faced adversities in order to come and compete against other individuals at the camp.
“Adaptive sports provide our wounded warriors an opportunity to get back into life,” McClish said. “Quite often they have experienced a long road to physical rehabilitation or recovery; adaptive sports complement the progress by offering a venue to develop skills in new sporting activities or relearning a sport enjoyed in the past.”
According to Tony Jasso, adaptive sports program manager warrior care division directorate of Airman and Family Care at Randolph AFB, Texas, sports are also a way for wounded warriors to push themselves.
“Sports open doors that wounds, injury and illness tend to close,” Jasso said. “Additionally, sports push them physically, psychologically, and present many social challenges warriors have not faced since their change in health, and our sports push the warriors further than they have been pushed in their recovery.”
Wounded warriors who are interested in participating in adaptive sports should contact a Recovery Care Coordinator or Air Force Wounded Warrior Case Manager.
“Introductory Adaptive Sports Camps are held across the United States and give participants a “test-ride” of different sporting events,” McClish said. “From those camps, skills will develop and connections [will be] made to seek additional opportunities within the wounded warriors local community.”
This will be the third time Nellis will be hosting the camp and wounded warriors are hopeful to come back.
“Nellis AFB and the surrounding community have provided outstanding support to the U.S. Air Force Adaptive Sports Camp Program,” McClish said. “This is the third camp held at Nellis AFB and we hope to start a tradition of providing a competitive environment to our Wounded Warriors.”
Wounded warriors are encouraged to come out and try adaptive sports as a way to begin a new chapter within their life.
“I believe one of the greatest benefits to adaptive sports is when a new athlete realizes that life is not over, just heading in a different direction,” McClish said. “When you see that realization in the expression on their face, it is truly rewarding.”