The National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) is the largest wheelchair games event in the world—nearly 600 veterans from across the U.S. participate. It’s committed to fostering better physical and mental health for veterans with disabilities through sports competition.

This year from July 17 – 22, the NVWG is kicking off in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Duke Energy Convention Center. A few events will be located at various areas across Greater Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky areas, such as Taylor High School in Cleves.

At NVWG, veterans with physical disabilities can compete in the following adaptive sports events:

  • 9-Ball
  • Air Guns
  • Archery
  • Basketball
  • Boccia
  • Bowling
  • Handcycling
  • Field Events
  • Motor Rally
  • Power Soccer
  • Quad Rugby
  • Slalom
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Track
  • Trapshooting
  • Weightlifting

The triathlon will make its second debut as an exhibition sport at the 37th Games. For anyone interested, NVWG has a full list of events and times available.

The weeklong event is co-presented each year by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) with additional support from numerous corporate and community sponsors.

As presenters of the event, the PVA and the VA have committed to improving the quality of life for veterans with disabilities and promoting social and physical health. This dedication aligns with VMI’s own commitment to overcoming challenges as a disabled community.

The event is open to U.S. military service veterans who use wheelchairs due to spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis or other neurological conditions, amputations, or anyone else eligible to receive care at a VA facility.

The NVWG games began in 1981 and grew quickly. By 1985, the popularity, complexity, and resources needed for the Games presented a daunting challenge for the VA to handle alone. The PVA offered to become a co-sponsor and recruited corporations to join in support of the Games.

Since then, the two organizations have collaborated successfully to make the NVWG one of the largest annual wheelchair sports programs in the world. Thousands of disabled veterans have enjoyed the health benefits provided by sports participation and have revitalized the spirit of competition within themselves.

This year, the 37th NVWG will be using a lot of purple to represent all branches of the military. The event provides veterans with disabilities an introduction to wheelchair sports worldwide.

The NVWG also provides opportunities for newly injured veterans to gain sports skills and be exposed to other athletes who use wheelchairs. In doing so, the event encourages veterans to see the potential in their abilities and promote a spirit of competition.

Between sports events, the NVWG will host educational sessions to attend. In 2016, the events covered topics such as overcoming social and athletic barriers, healthy lifestyle choices, and adaptive climbing.

As a part of the week of events, the 17th annual Kids Day event will take place July 19th. It provides children with disabilities an opportunity to meet many of the wheelchair athletes competing in the NVWG. The children learn how to play adaptive sports activities like basketball and t-ball.

Ohio is also known for its annual Buckeye Wheelchair Games each spring. Though meant for veterans, the event also invites adults and children in wheelchairs to enjoy two days of adaptive sports on a local level.

If you are in need of transportation when you arrive in Cincinnati, VMI can help connect you to the right drivers. This can includes MobilityWorks of Cincinnati and MC Mobility Systems.

National Veterans Wheelchair Games will be hosted in Orlando, Florida from July 29 to August, 4 2018. For more updates, visit the National Veteran’s Wheelchair Games Facebook page.