Hybrid National Veterans Wheelchair Games offered for 2021
The 2021 National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) will look a bit different this year because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This year’s 40th NVWG, scheduled for Aug. 7-14 in New York City and co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), will be a hybrid event – offering both in-person competition and an at-home competition.
Over the past months, NVWG leadership from the VA and PVA have consulted with New York City health and business officials regarding local COVID-19 restrictions. In an email, NVWG Director Dave Tostenrude from the VA and PVA Senior Associate Director of Sports & Recreation Jen Purser announced that current projections indicate significant mandates will remain in effect regarding business and event gatherings in August, which will impact the NVWG hotels, venues, local restaurants and more.
“As a result, we are making changes to the program to support the health and safety of veterans, volunteers, staff, stakeholders and families,” Tostenrude and Purser say in the March 12 email. “Our goal was to find a compromise that will enable us to have an in-person event this summer while supporting those veterans not wishing to travel or unable to travel.”
PVA members can still register for the games through April 30 at wheelchairgames.org/athletes/registration, and those who have already registered for the event must update their registration information and event selections by that day, as well. Registration date events have been extended from April 2.
The NVWG is open to veterans with spinal-cord injuries, amputations, multiple sclerosis or other neurological conditions. Physical disabilities must be permanent and measurable. All veterans registering for the NVWG must also be eligible to receive care at a VA medical facility.
This year’s NVWG features 22 sports, including air pistol; air rifle; archery; wheelchair basketball; boccia; wheelchair bowling; cycling; field events; motor rally or trivia; 9-ball; power soccer; wheelchair rugby; slalom or obstacle course; wheelchair softball; swimming; table tennis; powerlifting; wheelchair track; adaptive fitness competition; and new sports disc golf (for classes II, III, IV and V and 36 veterans for Classes 1A, 1B and 1C); adaptive esports; a sniper competition; and Super Q in the motorized slalom/obstacle course. Additionally, for 2021 only, disc golf and adaptive esports will not count against the five-event limit. There’s also a division change, which allows novice veterans the opportunity to compete in the Open (any competitor), Masters (ages 46-65) or Senior (ages 66 and above) divisions for all their events.