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Sports Therapy For Veterans This Weekend in Sacramento

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, June 15, 2012

A day of softball and scuba diving might sound like an enjoyable waste of time to some.  But for some injured and disabled military veterans, these activities are part of their physical and emotional recovery.

Sean Ryan is a veteran who's still adjusting to a life as a paraplegic.  He doesn't like to talk about what caused his injuries, but he's more than happy to talk softball…and which is harder, hitting or fielding from a wheelchair.

RYAN: "Hitting…hitting's definitely tough."

Sean and dozens of others are in Sacramento for three days of events designed especially for people with significant physical handicaps.  He says his physical therapist recommended he go.

RYAN: "It's fun.  It's great to be around a lot of other people.  Just do some activities that you can't do without adaptive equipment.  A lot of different work goes into having fun.  I try to get to any event I can."

Organizers say that's the goal…  Douglas Pringle is with event co-sponsor, Disabled Sports USA.

PRINGLE: "So, the point of all this is finding out that you're going to be ok, that you can still be active, feeling good about yourself  and what you can do.  We're trying to break those barriers and those thought patterns of, "I can't."

The City of Sacramento's Access Leisure program co-hosted Thursday's events at the Pannell Center in South Sacramento.    By combining resources, the two groups substantially increase the amount of equipment available to participants. 

Today and tomorrow the group will be on Lake Natoma for a day of water sports, on the ice for sled hockey and on the American River whitewater rafting.    
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