RHI to welcome disabled veterans to adaptive sports programs

Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana received a federal grant to expand its adaptive sports program for military veterans. (photo courtesy; RHI)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs has awarded a $230,000 grant to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana to increase the number of disabled veterans in RHI’s adaptive sports programs.

The program specializes in working with people with spinal cord, orthopedic, neuromuscular, and visual impairment.

RHI says it will partner with Veterans Health Indiana and the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis to introduce more disabled veterans and disabled members of the armed forces to sports which have been adapted to work with patients with physical disabilities.

The rehab hospital says it intends to double the number of adaptive sports programs, with both competitive and recreational options.

“This grant marks the start of a new era for our program, growing an already strong program and reaching more people who can benefit from adaptive sports,” said Dr. Dan Woloszyn, chief executive officer of RHI.

The VA and Veterans Health Indiana say they will refer veterans who could benefit from adaptive sports directly to the program.

“RHI believes that sports, recreation, and leisure play an important role in the intrinsic motivation of people with disabilities to re-enter the workforce, develop strong social skills, and improve levels of physical fitness,” said Karen Lawrence, RHI Adaptive Sports Program director.

RHI currently offers wheelchair lacrosse, sled hockey, wheelchair basketball, power soccer, beep baseball, blind hockey, and wheelchair and adaptive standing tennis.

The VA grant will allow RHI to add additional programs, such as a new swim league.

RHI says the money will help the hospital to explore the possibility of building a new adaptive sports facility in the future.