The Challenged Athletes Foundation announced it will offer up to $3.5 million in financial support through its annual Access for Athletes grant program, which provides financial aid to athletes of all ages for adaptive sports equipment, coaching, mentoring and competition expenses.
With the grants, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) offers support to any athlete with physical challenges, giving the individuals confidence to take part in sports. The 2015 grant distribution is the largest to-date providing financial support to 1,709 challenged athletes in 32 different countries. There are been a 16% increase in grant approval since the 2014 program.
The CAF program has had a record increase in applications received, grant approvals as well as the amount of sports supported, according to a press release. There has been a 13 % increase in applications received since 2014. Of all applicants, 56% are first-time grant recipients.
All ages are included, 13% of people supported by the CAF are wounded military members and first responders. Equipment that is most requested includes sport chairs, handcycles, sport prosthetics and bicycles.
“Physical fitness can have an important impact on one’s body, mind and soul, which is why CAF works so passionately with partners all over the world to overcome financial obstacles that may stand between challenged athletes and the ability to be active,” Virginia Tinley, MBA, CAF’s executive director, stated in the release. “The determination and commitment of CAF’s donors, sponsors and fundraisers have enabled us to fund this historic number of grants and together we form Team CAF, proud to cheer on athletes around the world.”