VA awards millions in adaptive sports grant funding for disabled Veterans

Grants promote rehabilitation, quality of life and community reintegration


VA awarded $14.8 million in grants for adaptive sports programs at the end of September. Adaptive sports benefit Veterans with disabilities and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

Of that, $1.5 million will support organizations that offer equine-assisted therapy to support mental health.

“Adaptive sports help Veterans thrive both physically and mentally as they challenge their inner strength and open pathways to community integration,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “We are honored to partner with over 120 organizations dedicated to providing adaptive sports and equine-assisted activities to help Veterans discover what’s next, not just in sports, but also in life.”

Adaptive sports help Veterans thrive both physically and mentally as they challenge their inner strength and open pathways to community integration.

Programs reach almost 11,000 Veterans

VA awarded 126 grants to national, regional and community programs. They will reach about 11,000 Veterans and service members from every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

VA awarded the grants to Veterans Service Organizations and city and regional municipalities. Grants also went to other community groups to provide a wide range of sports opportunities. Grants will also benefit national governing bodies, which prepare high-level athletes for Paralympic competition.

Grant recipients may use the funds to planning, developing, managing and implementing adaptive sports programs.

The grants will support well-known adaptive sports, such as cycling, kayaking and archery. It also will support less traditional sports, like hiking, hunting and paragliding.

Information about the awardees and the program are available at and @Sports4Vets on social media.


Hans Petersen

Hans Petersen is senior writer-editor for Digital Media, VHA Office of Communications. An Air Force Veteran, Hans also served two years in the Peace Corps and worked for 20 years in broadcasting before joining VA.


  1. Rebekah Simmers    

    I too am very interested in adaptive aquatic sports here in North California. Especially sailing, scuba diving, fishing and kayaking. I am talking San Fransisco Delta Bay Area, not Palo Alto. That’s just not a reasonable travel distance for most of us Delta Disabled Vets, and there’s quite a few of us up here.
    I keep hearing about all these ‘wonderful’ adaptive programs, and the funding VA provides, but other then the ‘pretty’ paper hyperproboly posts, I truly have not seen any kind of improvement, let alone any ‘new’ programs! That’s an awful lot of money, and It sure seems like it goes (goes, gones) to some of the same locations, while I (for one), am still waiting (2 years now my Doc at SCI has been referring me repeatedly) just to try on an exo-skeleton. Let alone any adaptive sporting programs that I find appealing and that relate to the environment around me. The Delta used to represent the freedoms and diverse choices that America stands for. It’s what I went to fight for. Unfortunately, these same waters now have become my biggest barrier to physical independence once again.
    Just my 2 cents.


    any golf, fishing or bowling help in Central Massachusetts

  3. Disney Christmas    

    Such a great program to help so many veterans who need it!!!

  4. Ingrid    

    How do I participate? 40 percent disabled

  5. Peter Bowman    

    I would love to learn to play guitar, keyboard, and/or drums. I’d live to learn scuba diving & para sailing too. If you all can help with any of that, I would be very grateful.

    1. Elle Knowles    

      There is a music program at the Gainesville VA hospital. No talent required. Please check your local VA hospital they probably have Music and painting and other recreational programs too. We have gardening and cooking classes too. Also tai chi yoga. They have been a real lifesaver for me.

  6. Carl La Grotteria    

    Organizations that collect money from the public as 501c3 charities shouldn’t be allowed to access the funding!

  7. George Torres    

    Thank you for not forgetting us need scuba diving support i feel great when in the ocean if available please thank you George Torres

  8. John Behan    

    Back 1976 I was the captain of the amputee team & we kicked ass in Canada this was the first time they let amputees in the games,prior to these games amputees were not considered to be disabled I don’t have legs what else does it take ???

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