Soldiers, veterans face off on sports fields
The Triangle is gearing up for Valor Games Southeast, and the public is invited to be a part of the action at Duke University and other venues.
On May 20-22, members of the nation’s armed forces, ill and wounded, will face off in a Paralympics-style competition on the sports fields.
Spectators can come out and cheer for the soldiers and veterans as they face off in a variety of sporting contests including boccia, cycling, indoor rowing, shot put, power lifting, volleyball, table tennis, air rifle shooting, and archery.
Athletes will compete in adapted versions of the sports to accommodate their physical challenges but also allow them to fully demonstrate their strength and skill in action.
There is no charge to attend any of the events.
The events open at the Dean Smith Center on Tuesday and move to Cameron Indoor Stadium and K’Ville the next day, where they will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Final competition and closing ceremonies take place May 22 at Lake Crabtree Park in Morrisville.
Athletes from across the Southeast, including those at the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center, will participate.
For the second year in a row, the Valor Games will be managed by Bridge II Sports, a Durham nonprofit that offers sports opportunities for physically challenged children and adults.
“Life changing wounds have challenged some members of our military family, and now is the time for rediscovery and redefining a new mission,” said Ashley Thomas, executive director of Bridge II Sports. “We hope this event will draw a big crowd of spectators to cheer for these athletes, and we can promise three days of exciting sports action.”
Financial support is provided through fundraising efforts and a grant by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by the VA. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympics sport programming for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.
For more information about the Valor Games, visit http://valor-games-southeast.bridge2sports.org/. Visit www.bridge2sports.org for more information about the Bridge II Sports program.