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SCI Fitness & Sports Program with Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports (SAAS)

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 40 K
Funding amount
Southern Arizona Adaptive Sports (SAAS) serves the community through the promotion and provision of fitness, recreational and competitive sports opportunities for people with disabilities. SAAS aims to engage a larger number of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) in our existing wheelchair basketball, tennis, and adaptive cycling programs as well as expand our fitness & outdoor recreation program offerings.

SAAS is requesting $40,000 for our SCI Fitness & Sports Program to add adaptive sports equipment, to provide expert instruction and coaching, to supporting athletes to train and compete and to expand our outreach and recruitment efforts of individuals with SCI in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

SAAS SCI Fitness & Sports Program will offer opportunities for beginners through advanced athletes with SCI of all ages to participate, improve and compete in wheelchair basketball, tennis, and handcycling. SAAS supports three adult and one junior wheelchair basketball teams, a Juniors Active in Wheelchair Sports (JAWS) introductory sports program, recreational and competitive wheelchair tennis and handcycling, and is launching new initiatives in adaptive fitness including adaptive yoga, strength & conditioning, and outdoor recreation activities including hiking and birding.

SAAS outreach activities play a major role in recruiting, retaining and connecting individuals with SCI. These include; Adaptive Sports Clinics bringing introductory sports experiences to people in rural areas of Southern Arizona; a robust Volunteer Program engaging SAAS athletes in highly visible community events such as 4th Avenue Street Fair, Cyclovia Tucson and University of Arizona Football Concessionaires; a peer & family mentoring component pairing newly injured individuals with peer mentors in local rehabilitation centers; a Community Outreach Team offering workshops, in-service and presentations to schools, prisons, clubs and business partners.

Expected outcomes for SAAS SCI Fitness & Sports Program participants: 1) Improved health through physical conditioning, exercise, and sports practice. 2) Improved independent living/life skills through the application of skills learned in sports & fitness practice 3) Increased social competence and community engagement through active participation in outreach activities.

The SAAS proposed SCI Fitness & Sports Program fits the Neilsen Foundation mission of empowering individuals with SCI to live independently with greater emotional and physical well-being and the CO&I goal of enhancing the quality of life for individuals and their families living with SCI.
(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


  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Behavioral and Social Science

  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Physical Rehabilitation

  • RCDC


  • Health Research Areas