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Published November 12, 2018
Albany County, in partnership with Mission Redefined Wyoming (MRWY), was awarded a $157,846 adaptive sports grant to assist disabled veterans throughout Wyoming.
The Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) at the University of Wyoming and Albany County will partner with other organizations throughout the state to coordinate the execution of the grant. This is the third year the adaptive sports grant has been awarded to Albany County and its partners.
The grant is to increase and expand adaptive sports opportunities for disabled veterans and disabled members of the military at the community, regional and national levels. Among the sports programs initiated when the first grant was awarded were tennis, strength training, biathlon and fly fishing. The programs have provided opportunities to nearly 500 veterans.
Marty Martinez, senior project coordinator for the UW Marna M. Kuehne Veterans Services Center (VSC), notes the importance of assisting veterans on campus.
“We enjoy the opportunity that Mission Redefined Wyoming brings to our student veterans through outdoor activities, competitive sports and physical conditioning,” Martinez says. “We especially appreciate their focus on making all activities adaptive to meet and challenge those veterans with various limitations or disabilities.”
MRWY provides many opportunities for veterans to explore the areas around Laramie and to connect with the community.
“Through MRWY, our students connect to various programs in our community and enjoy opportunities to experience the diversity of Wyoming’s outdoor activities, such as fishing, hiking, skiing and rock climbing,” Martinez adds. “The VSC is pleased to learn that MRWY received funding for another year, and we look forward to continuing this partnership.”
The MRWY allows veterans the opportunity to reconnect with others who have served.
“It’s wonderful going to these events to re-experience the bond and comradery brothers and sisters who have served in the armed forces share,” says Corey Jenkins, retired U.S. Navy and senior project coordinator at WIND.
Jenkins works directly with partners throughout the state to organize these events.
“It is especially gratifying to hear comments from fellow veterans how the activities offered through the grant have had a positive impact on their lives,” Jenkins adds.
WIND was established in 1994 as part of a national network of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities that provides support to more than 7,500 individuals with disabilities and their families in Wyoming. WIND provides expertise related to access and assistive technology to the grant partners through training and technical assistance for coaches, equipment coordination and outreach efforts.
Partners for the grant include UW, Wyoming Army National Guard, Casper Veterans Center, Casper Mountain Biathlon Club, Albany County School District 1, City of Laramie Parks and Recreation, U.S. Biathlon Association, U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing, CrossFit 7220 and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
For more information about the program, call the VSC at (307) 766-6908, email Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.uwyo.edu/wind/mrwy/index.html.