U.S. Paralympics Recognizes Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers for Excellence
Boston, MA -- U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, today announced that Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers has been recognized as a bronze level club as a part of the Paralympic Sport Club Excellence Program. Through a rigorous review process, US Paralympics selects clubs that demonstrate a commitment to fostering the Paralympic movement by meeting key benchmarks in their operations. Entering its 15th year, Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers (SASC) based at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network locations in Salem, Boston and Sandwich Massachusetts is one of the preeminent programs of its kind with year-round offerings for participants of all abilities. The SASC became an official US Paralympic Sport Club four years ago and has committed to growing those efforts ever since.
“Paralympic Sport Clubs are critical not only for the development of athletes but also for the growth of the Paralympic movement in the United States,” said Rick Adams, chief of Paralympic sport and NGB organizational development. “We are grateful for the investment these Paralympic Sports Clubs have made in their communities and we are proud to honor their commitment to excellence in supporting future Paralympians.”
Created in 2013, the excellence program is designed to support Paralympic Sport Clubs as they evolve their sport programming in areas such as athlete identification and coaching education, and recognize their contributions to growing the Paralympic movement in the United States.
“Having seen the Paralympic experience from multiple sides, first as an athlete, then advisor, and now in my clinical role at Spaulding, I know what a force for empowerment these clubs can be. For all of us at Spaulding who are working to advance the science, clinical care and participation in Paralympic and Adaptive Sports, this designation is a tremendous validation of the work we have done and the course we have set,” said Cheri Blauwet, M.D., Director of Kelley Adaptive Sports Research Institute at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and seven-time Paralympic medalist.
The multi-tier excellence program has benchmarks set to provide a blueprint for participating clubs to grow in their support for Paralympic sports. Among those benchmarks is a commitment to development for staff training, public education events, creating competitive opportunities, access to equipment, program goal setting and creating Paralympic experience opportunities. In the past year alone, SASC has provided over 200 separate Paralympic sport activities.
“Since 2001, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital has been providing adaptive recreational land and water sport opportunities to inpatients, outpatients, and community members. In the 15 years since we initiated programming, our growth has been exponential. The US Paralympic Sport Club program is a natural partnership for us as we now look at adding a competitive focus to many of our recreational sport offerings. We are honored to be recognized with their bronze medal award,” said Mary Patstone, director of Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers.
From Spaulding patients recovering from a traumatic illness or injury to persons living with disabling conditions who wish to become more active, the goal for SASC’s role as a Paralympic sport club is to encourage more participation in sports such as sled hockey, wheelchair racing and adaptive sprinting, among many others. Already some SASC participants have advanced in their athletic pursuits with realistic goals of becoming part of upcoming US Paralympic teams. For more information on SASC programs or to participate in Paralympic Sport Club activities, contact 877-976-7272.
This year 14 clubs across the country achieved excellence for the first time or moved up a level from 2014. These 14 clubs are:
Gold medal awardees:
Ability 360, Phoenix, Ariz.
Arizona Disabled Sports, Mesa, Ariz.
Community Rowing Inc., Brighton, Mass.
Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, Lake Forest, Ill.
Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham, Ala.
National Ability Center, Park City, Utah
Northeast Passage, Durham, N.H.
Silver medal awardee:
Bridge II Sports, Durham, N.C.
Bronze medal awardees:
Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Cincinnati, Ohio
Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, N.C.
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Golden Valley, Minn.
STRIDE Adaptive Sports, Renesslaer, N.Y.
Spaulding Adaptive Sports, Boston, MA
Youth Challenge, Westlake, Ohio
Recognition levels are valid through the end of the quadrennial, but clubs have the option to move up the following year. For a complete list of clubs participating in the excellence program and their level, click here.
About Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
A member of Partners HealthCare, The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network includes Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston which is a national model for environmental and inclusive design as well as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge and two skilled nursing facilities, as well as twenty-four outpatient sites throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Spaulding strives to continually update and improve its programs to offer patients the latest, high-quality care through its leading, expert providers. Spaulding has been awarded a Model Systems designation in three specialty areas- Brain Injury, Burn Injury Rehabilitation, and Spinal Cord Injury - by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Spaulding is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School as well as the official rehabilitation hospital of the New England Revolution. Spaulding is the only rehabilitation hospital in New England continually ranked since 1995 by U.S. News and World Report in its Best Hospitals survey with a #6 ranking in 2015-2016. For more information, please visit www.spauldingrehab.org.
About U.S. Paralympics
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the USOC, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and to promoting excellence in the lives of persons with physical disabilities. Visit the U.S. Paralympics Web site at www.usparalympics.org.