SPORTS PROGRAMS AT NWPVA
A VIDEO INTERVIEW
WITH NWPVA PRESIDENT, TOM BUNGERT
Performances by NWPVA Board Member, Joe Sapienza
In February of 2016, Lindsey Boisvin, a self-described Aspiring Public Relations Specialist contacted NWPVA President, Tom Bungert to request permission to produce a short video about the Chapter for a project she was planning.
Lindsey Boisvin is a graduating senior at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. Boisvin collaborated with NWPVA for a photojournalism class where she was required to tell a story of a community typically underrepresented in the mainstream media. She works as a Sustainability Communications Intern at the UW, and also does freelance journalistic writing. You can view Lindsey's photographs on her professional website here: Lindsey Boisvin and more of her video work on her YouTube channel here: Lindsey's YouTube Channel
This video features a voice-over by Tom Bungert, who describes some of the sports programs available for paralyzed veterans, and a story about how the program had helped an individual member. Tom, a quadriplegic veteran, is seen talking and moving around in scenes with Joe Sapienza, while Joe demonstrates the mechanics of two indoor sporting activities - table pool and bocce ball.
NWPVA is grateful for the interest taken by Lindsey in our organization and chapter with the production of this excellent video.
If you would like to know more about the Sports Program at NWPVA, please call 206.241.1843, or visit our blog at: nwpva.org/blog
NATIONAL AND REGIONAL COMPETITIVE ADAPTIVE SPORTING EVENTS
The Northwest Paralyzed Veterans of America (NWPVA) takes great pride in sponsoring catastrophically disabled veterans to compete at the National Veterans Wheelchair Games. The games are held annually in different parts of the United States. In addition to disabled American participants, there is also a team from Great Britain that competes each year. While there are other national wheelchair games held throughout the country, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games are co-presented by the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, making it the largest event of its kind in the United States. The veterans compete in over 18 wheelchair sports events. Veterans have been known to use these events to prepare for competition in the Paralympics. One of the most popular and growing events at the games is power soccer, as it's the only team oriented sports event for people in power wheelchairs. NWPVA takes great pride in supporting the local University of Puget Sound Power Soccer Team by training and sponsoring participants at no cost.
All team oriented sports events teach veterans valuable lessons, and these are passed on to other individuals with disabilities through continual participation and support in a variety of sporting activities as coaches in the general community. Year after year, NWPVA has found ways of introducing sports to the community, such as Boccia, slalom, air rifles, power soccer, basketball, rugby, trap shoot, fishing, and a variety of other activities. The slalom event builds life skills that non-disabled people take for granted and pushes veterans through a rigorous obstacle course of skill and endurance. After crossing the finish line, each participant is filled with a powerful sense of accomplishment!
NWPVA also helps sponsor catastrophically disabled veterans to attend the National Disabled Sports Clinic, an extremely valuable event. It provides critical tools for veterans to rebuild confidence and regain balance in their lives. Veterans take the knowledge and skills they achieve in these clinics and pass them along to their local communities, and encourage other people with disabilities to realize that nothing is impossible. NWPVA has been instrumental in the progress sports clinics have achieved throughout the region.
Just imagine, for a moment, a child in a wheelchair during school recess, sadly watching as other children run around and play. The Northwest Paralyzed Veterans of America is working hard to make this type of heartbreaking scenario a thing of the past by continually striving to achieve the goal of providing all people with disability a variety of adaptive, competitive sports and activities. One good example is Boccia, now a Paralympic sport. NWPVA is working especially hard to shoulder the expense of participating in this sport, so that any disabled person can showcase their skills, at no cost to them. We arrange sports clinics throughout the Northwest through the Veterans Administration and PVA so that veterans and others can train and push themselves to be the best they can be.
People with disabilities who play sports learn that anything is possible, and those witnessing their participation in these events realize that limitations are only state of mind!
Sled Hockey Team
2013 National Wheelchair Games - Tampa, FL
NWPVA 2007 National Wheelchair Games Team - Alaska
Controlling the ball at the National Wheelchair Games