A May display of valor in North Carolina


A scene from the 2015 Valor Games. (Photo: Bridge II Sports)

On May 23-26, North Carolina’s standout sports venues will be the site of competition between standout Americans, when veterans with disabilities vie for athletic glory in Valor Games Southeast.

Valor Games take place at regional locations around the nation. The Games are an empowerment, fitness, and lifestyle grant program of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

MetLife is a corporate sponsor for the southeast location. Their sponsorship includes having approximately 150 volunteers on site to help with the events.

More than 100 veteran athletes are registered to compete. There will be entry level and intermediate competitions in nine adaptive sports including cycling, power-lifting, archery, boccia, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, air rifle, table tennis, and shot-put. Demonstrations of wheelchair basketball and kayaking will be offered too.

Bridge II Sports, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through sports, is coordinating the North Carolina games.

“When you live with a disability, you are constantly told that you can’t do certain things,” said Ashley Thomas, executive director of Bridge II Sports. “Valor Games Southeast challenges our participants and the community to redefine disability and see the power and potential of sports. It is incredible to see our athletes compete on the most hallowed sports ground in North Carolina, if not the country! You can see a change in their self-confidence as they step or wheel onto these courts. These venues, the spirit of competition and the connection to the North Carolina community make a real difference for these military men and women after injury.”

Entry to Valor Games Southeast is free, and the public is welcome. A schedule of events is posted on the Bridge II Sports website.

Other locations for Valor Games are on the calendar. The Far West games will take place in Alameda, California on June 3-6. The Valor Games Midwest will be held in Chicago, Illinois on August 23-24.

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