Rehabilitation is a critical function for many of our injured veterans. That is why the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) work together to present the National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) from July 6-12 in Tempe, AZ.
“The games,” as they are called, change location from city to city annually to introduce veterans, partners, and volunteers to the event and the world of wheelchair sports. There are numerous activities the veterans participate in and compete for using time competitions or winning scores. There are 22 events spread over six days at five locations. The games will offer both in-person and virtual options. The in-person activities include basketball, soccer, rugby, 9-Ball, table tennis, air rifle, powerlifting, pickleball, curling, weightlifting, and much more.
The “at-home” competition will include swimming, trap shooting, cycling, adaptive fitness, air rifle, and submitting their scores. A designated link to do this will be published before the event. The “at home” competition runs from June 27, 2022 – July 1, 2022. Winners will be announced and highlighted online via social media during “the games” week in Tempe.
As one who has worked on the events, I can tell you it is exciting to see our veterans overcome their disabilities and move beyond them. One of the fiercest competitions is at the basketball games. The veterans are determined to block, shoot, and score against the opposing team. Organizers say the games bring a unique camaraderie to our community and strengthen the infrastructure for adaptive sports. This generates a ripple effect felt by veterans and people of all ages living with disabilities for years to come.
The games are free and open to the public for viewing. The events will take place at various venues, including the Sun Devil Fitness Complex, the Ability 360 center, Legacy Spots Bell Bank Park, the Hall of Flame Museum, and AMF Bowling at Tempe.
If you’d like to attend the games, you can find the events and locations by viewing or downloading the event guide online at https://wheelchairgames.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/2022-NVWG-Event-Guide.pdf.
The NVWCG also needs volunteers. If you’d like to help, you can register online at https://2022wheelchairgames.my-trs.com/.