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Sep 16, 2022

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Wounded Warrior Project, VA to Improve Warrior Wellness at Adaptive Sports Clinic

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is teaming up with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to host nearly 80 veterans for the 15th annual National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic this week in San Diego. In addition to sponsoring the event, WWP will be on-site to facilitate the weeklong clinic with cycling professionals from the nonprofit's Soldier Ride® program.

VA's National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic is a rehabilitative and educational hands-on program that offers wounded veterans from across the country an opportunity to engage in adaptive sports and recreational activities. The event – an extension of rehabilitation care veterans receive at VA facilities – introduces and strengthens knowledge of different sports and the modified techniques designed to address specific injuries, including spinal cord injury, visual impairments, orthopedic amputation, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). After being limited to virtual-only participation due to COVID-19, this year marks the clinic's return to in-person sporting events. Activities will include sailing, surfing, adaptive fitness, kayaking, and cycling.

"We're honored to sponsor this event for the fourth year and work with VA to empower warriors across the country," said James Herrera, WWP Physical Health & Wellness vice president. "Adaptive sports play a critical role in physical and emotional healing for warriors who were injured while serving our country. It's important for warriors to know they can still engage with the sports they've always loved and even learn new skills."

WWP's Soldier Ride is a nationally recognized injured veteran cycling program that hosts warriors virtually and at in-person events across the country. It is one of three WWP programs – including Adaptive Sports and Physical Health and Wellness – that incorporate adaptive components into athletic sports and physical fitness to serve some of the most seriously injured veterans. These programs were designed to empower warriors to become well-adjusted in mind and body and help increase mobility, improve sleep, and decrease stress.

WWP's Annual Warrior Survey confirms these programs and initiatives like the VA Summer Sports Clinic are critical to warriors' overall wellness. The 2021 survey concluded that 3 in 5 WWP warriors reported physical activity helps them cope with stress or mental health concerns.

Army veteran Eric Trinidad-Perez is not letting his vision impairment hold him back. This will be his first time attending the VA Summer Sports Clinic and an adaptive sports event in general. 

"I'm legally blind now, but I still continue my athletic journey," said Trinidad-Perez. "I have a spirit of not being a quitter."

Learn more about how WWP programs help warriors manage mental health through physical activity and connecting with other veterans. 

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.

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For further information: Trevor A. Fay, Public Relations, tfay@woundedwarriorproject.org, 904-776-5691.

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