KBF Awards $100,000 in Grants to Adaptive Sports Organizations
The Kelly Brush Foundation was thrilled to award over $100,000 in grants to adaptive sports programs across the country this week! This spring the KBF created a new grant program, “Inspire the KBF”, with the goal of funding new ideas and expanding successful programs for adaptive sports organizations.
The KBF piloted this grant program in recognition of the vital role of adaptive sports programs in helping people with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities learn and participate in sports. We work closely with these amazing organizations and wanted the opportunity to help fund their important work.
We started with a request for LOIs (Letters of Intent), which were just short descriptions of projects and their potential impact on the spinal cord injury community. We received over 50 impressive LOIs requesting over $950,000 for projects.
We invited 26 programs representing $400,000 in requests to submit full applications. It was an extremely difficult decision, and the process only served to reinforce our belief that adaptive sports programs are doing the bulk of the work to create access to sports for so many people.
Through our Active Fund KBF will award more than $500,000 to help individuals purchase adaptive sports equipment in 2019. These individuals have predominantly discovered the sports they love, used equipment, and received instruction from one of the hundreds of adaptive sports programs around the country. This was our way to encourage and support that community.
Check out just a few of the innovative projects that were awarded grant funding:
Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS): Traveling Oasis
The Traveling Oasis addresses the unmet needs of the disabled community in rural Oregon. OAS plans to develop a traveling adaptive sports experience that will build connections, provide community training, teach important skills, and eventually plant the seeds to grow an inclusive outdoor community throughout the entire state of Oregon.
Columbus Recreation and Parks Paralympic Sport Club: SCI Active Living Program
The SCI Active Living Program is designed to help people with paralysis and their families learn condition-specific exercises, introduce them to lifetime activities and sports, and build community in a safe and welcoming space. The program consists of four components: fitness, informational support group, yoga classes, and recreational activities and sports.
Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS): SCI Therapeutic Immersion Camps
STARS will partner with Craig Hospital to host immersion camps for people with an SCI at the end of the in-patient rehabilitation program to introduce an adaptive sport, foster peer connections, and provide training with a peer accountability partner to help inspire and motivate physical activity after the program.
Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP): Online Fitness Classes for People with SCI
BORP is working to create an innovative and groundbreaking online exercise program that will regularly engage large numbers of people with SCI and other paralysis in high-quality, enjoyable and uplifting exercise classes that support their health and increase their ability to live active and socially connected lives.
Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio (ASPO): Interscholastic Adaptive Sports
ASPO is expanding the scale and reach of the youth interscholastic wheelchair basketball program so that it reaches more school districts and gives children across the state access to sports. By equipping schools with the resources they need to add this program as an extension of their athletic program, thousands of students, including those with spinal cord injuries, will have an opportunity to engage in sports in their communities, right at their schools.
Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports: CORE Connections Para Conditions Camp
VT Adaptive will offer a series of Para-athlete conditioning camps. Using cross-fit, cross-training, multi-sport conditioning and a multitude of health, wellness, and fitness activities, the CORE Connections Para Conditioning camps will provide participants with Paralympic qualifying disabilities with the tools needed to take their training at home and at their home programs to the next level.
PSIA-AASI: E-Learning Program for Adapted Ski Instruction
This program will create free adapted snow sports instructor training, via an e-learning program, to anyone who has an Internet connection–not just PSIA-AASI members. PSIA-AASI wants to improve the quality and safety of adapted snow sports programs across the country by using current video and animation technology to create online learning modules.
Sportable: Expanding Access to Wheelchair Sports for Overweight Athletes
With the availability of high-capacity sport wheelchairs, Sportable will be able to serve a previously underserved population of individuals with disabilities who could particularly benefit from participating in adaptive sports. Sportable expects to see a higher level of engagement among our current athletes and new athletes who are not able to fully participate in all programs due to a lack of sport chairs that fit properly.
Adaptive Sports New England (ASNE): Wheelchair Sport Initiative
The ASNE Wheelchair Sport Initiative will offer semi-annual introductory Para sport days for individuals with a SCI and other everyday wheelchair users. At the sport days participants will have the opportunity to try sports designed for wheelchair users, and through attendance at an introductory session individuals will identify the sports they love and plan to pursue.