Disabled Sports USA Announces 2011 National SkiTour Series

Disabled Sports USA (DS/USA) has announced the schedule for its national SkiTour winter snow sports series. The DS/USA SkiTour includes more than 80 events hosted by 40 DS/USA chapters and affiliates in 18 states. The events, which started in January and continue through April, include beginner to elite ski races, race training, learn-to-ski or snowboard, Nordic ski programs, and adaptive instructor training. Severely injured military personnel and veterans from across the country are provided opportunities to participate, free of charge.

U.S. Paralympics has joined as a national partner of the SkiTour, to help expand and strengthen the national infrastructure of adaptive skiing programs and the pipeline of Alpine skiing athletes for the 2014 and 2018 U.S. Paralympic teams.

The SkiTour program provides youth and adults with disabilities with skiing, snowboarding, and Nordic rehabilitation opportunities in such ski destinations as Breckenridge and Aspen, Colorado; Sun Valley, Idaho; Waterville Valley, New Hampshire; Park City, Utah; and more.

"The confidence...it takes to succeed on the mountain can be applied to other areas of life," said Kirk Bauer, DS/USA executive director. "They come away from their experience with the attitude: 'If I Can Do This, I Can Do Anything!'"

The SkiTour also includes inter­nationally sanctioned elite IPC "NorAm" ski races that qualify U.S. and foreign ski racers for inter­national events, leading to the Paralympic Winter Games. It is the only national qualifying race series for ski racers attempting to qualify for the U.S. Disabled Alpine Championships. The SkiTour schedule also includes the Diana Golden Level I Race Series for youth with physical disabilities, consisting of 15 races hosted in eight states in Far West Sierra Nevada, Rocky Mountain, and Northeast ski areas.

For more information and to view the SkiTour calendar, visit www.dsusa.org

OPAF and First Volley Score USTA Serves Grant

OPAF and The First Clinics, founder of the First Volley Tennis Clinics, scored a $10,000 grant from the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association, USTA Serves. The grant represents the fourth time in five years that First Volley has been awarded by this division of the USTA. The funds will allow OPAF and The First Clinics to host at least five First Volley Adaptive Tennis clinics across the country with collaborator, Shriners Hospitals for Children.