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ValleyGO! Adaptive Sports Program

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 73 K
Funding amount
ValleyGO! Adaptive Sports Program

ValleyGO! is an adaptive sports program for individuals with disabilities, primarily SCI. Established to address the demand for more and consistent adaptive sports offerings for individuals with SCI in northern Los Angeles County, it consists of adaptive sports training and events in area parks. The purpose of Valley GO! is to increase participation in physical activity and improve quality of life for individuals with SCI. The program is a collaboration between the Center of Achievement for Adapted Physical Activity and the Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), together with the Triumph Foundation, a support organization for individuals with spinal cord injury. Initially focused on the sport of handcycling, ValleyGO! seeks to expand to multisport events through the addition of adaptive aquatic sports (canoeing, paddle boarding, and kayaking) in partnership with the CSUN Aquatic Center at Castaic Lake. The program will offer a series of Bike & Boat clinics and events, designed to educate and inspire individuals with SCI to get outdoors and involved in boating and handcycling at any level they choose. The clinics are all-inclusive; friends, family, and community members are invited to join in and share the experience. CSUN students will assist as coaches and support staff, developing essential skills and knowledge of adaptive sports and SCI as the health care, rehabilitation, and recreation specialists of the future.

Expected outcomes include purchasing adaptive boating equipment and handcycles to increase program capacity; increasing the number of activities for individuals with SCI in the region through four bike & boat events; serving 120 individuals with SCI, and their friends and family members, with adaptive bike & boat experiences; increasing the number of individuals with SCI newly exposed to adaptive sports activities; recruiting and training 20 CSUN students for careers working as health experts for individuals with SCI; increasing capacity for CSUN and the Triumph Foundation to provide ongoing and sustainable adaptive sports programs to individuals with SCI; and improving the self-esteem, fitness, self-efficacy, mental toughness, and confidence of individuals with SCI.

ValleyGO! directly supports the Neilsen Foundation’s goal to increase participation and enhance physical and emotional well-being for individuals with SCI. By providing the SCI community with additional opportunities to participate in adaptive sports activities, ValleyGo! helps to increase their self-efficacy, prevent sedentary lifestyles, and enhance their quality of life through the benefits of exercise, sport, and fitness. The benefits of adaptive recreation transcend physical impact, contributing to mental wellness and self-esteem for injured individuals. (CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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    1117 Public Health and Health Services

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC

    Mind and Body

  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Behavioral and Social Science

  • RCDC


  • Health Research Areas


  • Broad Research Areas

    Public Health