The IRONMAN® Foundation announced today that the Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) will be an official charity partner of the 2013 IRONMAN® Lake Placid event, taking place July 28, in Lake Placid, NY.
The Challenged Athletes Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit that provides opportunities and support to athletes with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive sport. Like IRONMAN along with triathletes everywhere, CAF believes that participation in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.
“We are excited to team up with the Challenged Athletes Foundation,” says Dave Deschenes, Executive Director of The IRONMAN Foundation. “Everyone – both able bodied or physically challenged – deserves to experience the sense of accomplishment that comes from crossing a finish line. This partnership will allow the IRONMAN community to help challenged athletes around the world experience that accomplishment.”
According to U.S. Paralympics, there are 21 million individuals living with a physical disability in the United States today. Only one in ten takes part in fitness activities on a daily basis, mostly due to a lack of technical equipment, which can be very expensive. The Challenged Athletes Foundation funds the purchase of expensive adaptive equipment (like running prosthetics, racing chairs and handcycles) and helps pay for coaching and travel expenses for challenged athletes at all levels. More often than not, these costs are not covered by conventional medical insurance.
Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles every opportunity to compete in the sports that they love.
As part of their involvement with IRONMAN Lake Placid, CAF will have a team of both challenged athletes and participants competing to raise funds for the organization. While regular entries to this event are sold out, you can still register through a CAF fundraising entry.
“We are honored to be partnering with IRONMAN,” says Challenged Athletes Foundation Executive Director, Virginia Tinley. “We hope this opportunity will not only raise more awareness and funds to support challenged athletes, but also inspire all athletes – able bodied and physically challenged – that there is no limit to what they can accomplish.”