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USA Fencing Receives Funding for Wheelchair Clinics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

11/23/2014, 3:15pm CST
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has granted the organization funding for a new program to introduce disabled veterans and members of the armed forces to wheelchair fencing.

Funds received through the VA’s Adaptive Sports Grant Program will be used for the Embrace, Empower, En Garde! program in four cities throughout the United States.

USA Fencing will partner with rehabilitation programs and local Veterans Service Organizations in each city to identify potential athletes for the program.

The clinics will be held in 2015 and will be staffed by 2012 U.S. Paralymipc Team Coach Les Stawicki (Louisville, Ky.) and members of the Paralympic and Wheelchair National Teams.

The clinics will include an introduction to the sport, motivational talks by Paralympic athletes and sessions on how to continue through the competition pipeline with the ultimate goal of identifying not only national level fencers, but also athletes who will have the ability to fence on the international circuit in upcoming years.

“We’re grateful to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the chance to reach out to members of our military,” said USA Fencing Director of Sports Performance Kate Reisinger (Colorado Springs, Colo.) “Fencing is a powerful tool for the body and the mind that is a great athletic outlet for all athletes, including those with physical disabilities. Although many veterans may not have had the opportunity to see wheelchair fencing firsthand, this program will serve as a great outreach tool to help us grow the sport across the nation.” 

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