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Louisville Metro Parks Achieves Designation as U.S. Paralympic Sport Club

Wednesday June 20, 2012

U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, has designated Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation a Paralympic Sport Club.

By conferring this designation, U.S. Paralympics recognizes Metro Parks’ Adapted Leisure Activities division for its promotion of athletic recreational programming for people with disabilities, as well as the skilled and knowledgeable staff which supports that programming. The ALA division has four staff members trained and certified as Disability Sports Specialists.

Louisville Metro Parks Adapted Leisure Activities division now belongs to a growing network of Paralympic Sport Clubs in cities across the nation, community-based sport clubs developed to involve youth and adults, including active duty service members and veterans, with physical and visual disabilities in ongoing sports and physical activity, regardless of skill level.

“We have a commitment to inspire and encourage individuals with disabilities to be physically active, and to provide opportunities for rigorous training, competitive fun and social recreation,” said Mike Heitz, director of Metro Parks.  “Introducing Paralympic sport to individuals in our community is a priority for us and we are honored to have achieved this Paralympic status.”

U.S. Paralympics assists Paralympic Sport Clubs through grants and other support, such as providing Paralympic athletes to hold clinics and workshops.  This kind of support will enable Metro Parks to expand programming and reach more people in the Louisville community, offering participation in adapted sports, recreation and competitive activities.

Only one other entity in Louisville, the Frazier Rehab Institute, has been designated a Paralympic Sport Club.  Metro Parks and Frazier Rehab have partnered on several initiatives, demonstrating a welcoming and supportive environment in this community for athletes and emerging athletes with physical disabilities. 

About Louisville Metro Parks Adapted Leisure Division
Adapted Leisure Activities offers a wide variety of recreational activities and sports for individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities, along with their friends and family.  http://www.Metro-Parks.org/recreation/adaptedleisure.htm

About U.S. Paralympics
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and to promoting excellence in the lives of persons with physical disabilities.  For more information:  http://www.usparalympics.org.