It has become tradition that the last player selected in the NFL draft jokingly earns the title of “Mr Irrelevant”, and in 2008 David Vobora earned this recognition while being selected 252nd to the then St Louis Rams. After spending five seasons playing professional football, David founded a gym to help train potential NFL athletes. In January of 2014 he met retired US Army Staff Sergeant Brian Aft, and both of their lives were changed forever.
On Saturday evening, the 3rd annual Invictus Games held their closing ceremony, and several members of the United States team will be returning home from Toronto as champions. The week long event gained worldwide media attention thanks to appearances from current First Lady Melania Trump and former President Barrack Obama. 90 participants from the United States competed in both individual and team events, with many of them bringing back medals!
Founded in 2005, Operation Injured Soldiers is a nonprofit organization in Michigan that provides recreation opportunities to wounded veterans. Their mission is to thank heroes for their sacrifices and help get them back into sports and hobbies they enjoyed prior to deployment. Last month, the group took their annual Muskie fishing trip and a few members from MobilityWorks tagged along for the excursion.
In 2014 Prince Harry of Wales set out to make a difference for injured soldiers returning from war, and created the Invictus Games. He started the international sporting event to inspire recovery, help support rehabilitation and to raise awareness and respect for those who serve their country. The Paralympic-style multi-sport event features adaptive games such as wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing. The first Invictus Games took place in March of 2014 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England. This year they are being hosted in Toronto, Canada and the opening weekend was a great success!
Great strides have been made in adaptive sports over the last few decades, with many of them being written about here in our blog. One sport that we haven’t covered recently was bowling.
The organization that has supported many of the advances in the sport of adaptive bowling is The American Wheelchair Bowling Association. The organization is comprised of over 500 members and growing. They’ve helped many people enjoy a sport that they love with the use of specialized adaptive equipment, including ball ramps, ball grip handles and ball pushers. Their most recent national event was the 56th Annual AWBA Tournament held at City View Lanes in Fort Worth, Texas. Visit the AWBA events page for more information.