Alright, pretty excited here, this week I received a CAF (Challenged Athletes Foundation) grant for a a new race wheelchair! This past year I had the opportunity to attend one of their swim clinics (blog post here) @ the Nike World Headquarters and was then invited to and attended the Challenged Athletes Foundation Paratriathlon Camp (blog post here) at their headquarters in southern California, and now I’ve received a generous grant awarding money towards my first race wheelchair.
Seriously, if you haven’t heard, or have heard but haven’t checked out what CAF is really all about, please do so RIGHT NOW!
Amongst the house shopping, transitioning to driving with hand controls, and using a wheelchair more full-time over the last six months, my paratriathlon ambition has unfortunately been a bit on hold. With spring arriving and the majority of these life changes nearly wrapped up, I’m jumping back on the training routine and hope to get at least one triathlon (we’d love to travel to San Diego so I can participate in the 2016 Aspen Medical Products San Diego Triathlon Challenge in October, although it’s going to be expensive), if not more, and with a new race wheelchair coming, I think rolling the Portland Marathon could be a reality.
In addition to CAF, I’ve received support in my endeavors from several local non-profits and want to give them some recognition as well:
World Wheelchair Sports – Thank you so much for giving me some introduction into wheelchair racing and especially for loaning me the Purple People Eater (pictured above). It’s been a great chair for me to get started with, but I am looking forward to returning it to your loaner fleet and getting a new Top End Eliminator OSR Racing Wheelchair custom sized to me! Stay tuned, I’ll be back for more of your practices!
ParaSport Spokane – I recently met Coach Teresa of ParaSport Spokane at the local Paralympic Track & Field Clinic here in Portland. In addition to giving some excellent training at the clinic, Coach Teresa offered to get me into a couple other types of race wheelchairs to try out and help me size/configure the order for my new chair. I just booked a quick overnight trip to Spokane to work with Teresa and am excited to also be visiting the same time as the Bloomsday Run and get a chance to see some of the ParaSport athletes in action.
Adaptive Sports Northwest – I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Trisha, Carly, and everybody else involved this past year while attending many functions put on by this great local non-profit. Much appreciation for helping out with my CAF Grant application and I look forward to growing further with your organization.
Please take some time to familiarize yourself with all 4 of these amazing organizations and consider helping them out if your looking for donation opportunities, fundraising, and/or volunteering at events. The CAF grant that I was awarded should cover most of the expense for my new race wheelchair (I may have a couple hundred left to cover myself) with the standard configurations. Eventually I’d like to add some upgrades such as a carbon wheel set and an indoor training rig for the pacific northwest winters and would gratefully welcome any donations that might help me get there sooner than on my own savings timeline!