Shea-Porter, Kuster Announce $173,000 VA Grant for UNH Veterans Adaptive Sports Program
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (NH-02) today announced that the University of New Hampshire’s Northeast Passage Program will receive a $172,974.49 grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support adaptive sports opportunities for veterans and servicemembers with disabilities.
“As a leader in the field of recreational therapy, UNH’s Northeast Passage Program empowers military men and women who are living with disabilities, and today’s grant will help them continue their important work,” Shea-Porter. “I have always been proud to support this excellent program. Congratulations to the staff and volunteers at Northeast Passage on this recognition of the important work they do for our servicemembers, veterans, and so many Granite Staters living with disabilities.”
"Recreational therapy holds tremendous potential for our men and women who have served in uniform," said Congresswoman Kuster, a member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. "The University of New Hampshire Northeast Passage Program supports veterans and servicemembers with disabilities who wish to pursue adaptive sports as a means of therapy. I'm proud of the work being done by UNH to support our veterans and servicemembers and will continue to advocate on behalf this important program."
“We are very pleased that the VA has once again recognized Northeast Passage as a leader in providing adaptive sports opportunities for veterans and servicemembers with disabilities,” said Northeast Passage Director Jill Gravink. “Our programs enable veterans to come together and share their experiences with people with similar interests, building social networks where veterans and servicemembers can connect with each other and enjoy recreation with the same independence as their non-disabled peers.”
Founded in 1990 as a non-profit organization, NEP merged with UNH in 2000 and specializes in recreational therapy (RT) and adaptive sports for children, adults, servicemembers, and veterans with disabilities. RT interventions help people with disabilities cope with the stress of their illness or disability and prepare individuals for managing their disabilities in order to achieve and maintain independence, productivity, health, and well-being.
In March, Shea-Porter and Kuster wrote to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs requesting increased funding for the Adaptive Sports Grant program. In their letter to appropriators, the Congresswomen requested that the committee include report language recommending $10,000,000 for adaptive sports programs.