“Events like the Winter Sports Clinic offer Veterans from across the nation a way to grow, learn and reach new levels of independence and quality of life through challenging experiences.” – Adrian Atizado, TriWest Director, Government Relations
On some days at Snowmass, Colo., it was clear, cold and sunny. On other days, it flurried and snowed. At one point during the 37th Annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, a winter weather advisory was issued for the entire Rocky Mountains region.
Yet for five days in late March, the Winter Sports Clinic was a hub of constant activity, hosting 314 Veterans who participated in activities from adaptive skiing, sled hockey, scuba diving, fly fishing, curling, rock wall climbing and snowmobiling, to training and rehabilitation sessions.
Held March 25-31, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) presented the Winter Sports Clinic event, with TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest) and other supporting organizations partnering as sponsors.
Veterans participating had an opportunity to challenge themselves, gain new skills, and demonstrate their undaunted determination and resiliency.
“The Veterans got a chance to test their mettle, and learn and expand what they are capable of despite any disability,” said Pat Shipley, TriWest Regional Director.
Pat and other TriWest staff were on site throughout the clinic supporting the Veteran participants and assisting with various activities.
“TriWest also sponsors a Colorado-based organization called Adaptive Adventures, which supports the Clinic by helping disabled Veterans to get out of their comfort zone and gain confidence so that they can do things they previously thought impossible,” Pat said.
This year’s event was the first fully planned and attended Winter Sports Clinic since the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
Adrian Atizado, TriWest Director, Government Relations, echoed TriWest’s strong support of adaptive activities to enable Veterans to live full, active lives.
“Events like the Winter Sports Clinic offer Veterans from across the nation a way to grow, learn and reach new levels of independence and quality of life through challenging experiences,” Atizado expressed.
Camaraderie among all participants flourished during the wintry gathering, as the Veterans representing all service branches learned new sports or joined familiar sporting activities to enhance their well-being.
The Winter Sports Clinic’s stated mission is to “involve disabled Veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, neurological disorders, visual impairments and other profound injuries and medical concerns in challenging therapeutic outdoor experiences and education.”
TriWest has sponsored the Winter Sports for the past several years and has a long history of contributing support to a wide variety of military and Veteran-focused organizations as part of its ongoing dedication to serving those who have served.