SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Navy veteran Eliezer Arroyo didn't think he would enjoy playing soccer, but an adaptive sports clinic organized by Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) in San Antonio changed his perspective.
"I didn't see how I was going to be kicking the ball," Eliezer, who uses a wheelchair, said. "I didn't understand how it was going to work. After I played it, I loved it, and I really became confident. I learned that I can be pretty fast and pretty sneaky with the wheelchair."
That newfound confidence was echoed by other warriors, including Army veteran Deirdre Tinsley.
"Once you get injured, you tend to get caught up in the things you can no longer do," Deirdre said. "So, I came hoping to see what I can do. I'm really impressed. My confidence has greatly improved, and it also inspires me to push myself a little more and try to get a little more done."
For two days, warriors had the opportunity to try soccer, football, softball, and basketball – all in wheelchairs – at the Morgan's Wonderland adaptive amusement park in San Antonio. For this clinic, WWP partnered with South Texas Regional Adaptive and Paralympic Sports (STRAPS).
WWP exposes wounded warriors to adaptive sports to help them gain confidence and knowledge of what's available in their area. Many are encouraged to continue participating in community events. WWP staff work with local adaptive sports providers to follow up and offer warriors more activities.
"I have talked to a couple of people here about doing more adaptive sports in the future," said Brian Patterson, an Army veteran who alternates between ambling on his own and using a wheelchair for stability because of balance issues stemming from traumatic brain injury.
"I want to show up for adaptive sports and get engaged in doing more wheelchair practice," Brian said. "I'm more mobile now, and I feel more comfortable and stronger. It improves my quality of life."
Learn about WWP's other free veteran wellness opportunities, in-person and online classes, coaching, and health clinics for warriors and caregivers at https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/physical-health-wellness.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project