VA Adaptive Sports
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The Grant Program
The U.S. Paralympics Integrated Adaptive Sports Program (Grant Program) for disabled Veterans and disabled Members of the Armed Forces provides grant funding to organizations to increase and expand the quantity and quality of Paralympic and adaptive sport opportunities disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces have to participate in physical activity within their home communities, as well as more advanced Paralympic sport programs at the regional and national levels. Authorized under 38 U.S.C. 521A, the Grant Program is administered primarily through a partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As of September 30, 2013, the USOC-equivalent Paralympic entities for American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were authorized to partner with VA to administer the Grant Program in their respective jurisdictions and processes are being established. For all regions, those eligible to apply for a grant include Parks and Recreation Divisions, colleges and universities, Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), Paralympic Sport Clubs and other Paralympic and adaptive sport organizations, and nonprofit organizations. In addition, these organizations must also:
- serve disabled Veterans or disabled members of the Armed Forces or both.
- provide regular, frequent activity over an extended period of time (weeks or months) - one-time events will not be funded unless the event serves as a launching or focal point for ongoing Paralympic or non-Paralympic sport programming.
- be designed for long-term sustainability without continued grant support.
- have specific objectives and measurable outcomes for participation, community involvement, publicity, skill progress and / or other factors.
Additional consideration is given to programs that:
- engage local VA staff and resources.
- engage local Department of Defense (DoD) staff and resources.
- provide the program offering(s) in an appropriate, community-integrated structure.
- have a focused geographical catchment area to facilitate regular and frequent return participation
- involve Paralympic sports.
- are active Paralympic Sport Clubs.
- have a demonstrated history of recruiting and serving significant numbers of disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.
- have secured matching funds or other tangible community support.
As specified in the legislation that established the fund, federal agencies are not eligible to receive grant funding from the program. However, federal agencies are encouraged to collaborate with community organizations or VSOs to jointly create community-based programs that serve disabled Veterans.
The amount of grant funding awarded to each organization varies per calendar year and grant category, including National Partner, Athlete Development, Regional, and Community-Based Programs. Typically, a community-based grant may range from $10,000-30,000; whereas a National Partner grant may range from $250,000-$500,000.
How to apply
To apply for a Paralympic grant, each organization applying through the USOC must coordinate with the USOC’s U.S. Paralympics Division and submit a proposal based on the instructions provided. For organizations applying in the U.S. Commonwealths and Territories, please contact Michael Welch, Paralympic Program Specialist, 202-632-7135, Michael.Welch5@va.gov.
The Paralympic grant application period changes each calendar year. To receive information about future Paralympic grants, sign up for the U.S. Paralympics e-newsletter or send an email to vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.
NOTE: To be eligible for federal contracts and grants, organizations should be registered for a D&B DUNS Number and a System for Award Management (SAM) account.
The annual grant funding submission cycle normally begins on April 1.
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