Reeve Foundation grant to support athletes with physical disabilities at Hybl Center

An athlete competes in a wheelchair race at the 2017 Invictus Games.
Team U.S. member retired Army Sgt. Brandi Evans competes in a wheelchair race during the finals of track and field at the Invictus Games 2017 in Toronto, Sept. 25, 2017. DoD photo by EJ Hersom. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

A grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation will support training and fitness equipment for the Center for Athletes and Active Individuals with Physical Disabilities in the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center. The Direct Effect Quality of Life award of $20,630 will be used to three pieces of equipment for disabled athletes.

The grant will allow the center to purchase two upper-body ergometers, similar to a stationary bicycle for arms. The center will also purchase a paramill, a treadmill that is adapted for wheelchairs.

“We’ll be able to incorporate a range of fitness, testing and training activities with this equipment that will allow us to expand the services for the Center for Athletes and Active individuals with Physical Disabilities,” said Steve Johnson, professor of human physiology and nutrition, and co-director of the Hybl Center. “These pieces of equipment will allow for high-intensity, sport-specific conditioning for athletes who are disabled.”

The grants are federally funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living. The Direct Effect grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations for projects that clearly impact individuals living with paralysis, their families and caretakers.

The Center for Athletes and Active Individuals with Physical Disabilities will endeavor to maximize personal performance despite the extraordinary physiological and medical challenges associated with physical disabilities. The center will be available to elite wounded warriors and para-athletes and other athletes and individuals with physical challenges who endeavor to participate in sports competitions or maintain an active lifestyle.

The William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center, under construction at UCCS, is a partnership between UCCS and Centura Health that is designed to be a laboratory of excellence, facilitating collaboration between UCCS faculty and students, and Centura Health’s medical providers and clinical experts. It will be the first facility of its kind to integrate undergraduate and graduate education with clinical practice and research in a sports medicine and performance environment.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by advancing innovative research and improving quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. Pioneered by the late Dana Reeve, the Quality of Life Grants Program recognizes projects and initiatives that foster community engagement, inclusion and involvement, while promoting health and wellness for individuals living with paralysis and their families.