The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) distributed $3.7 million in grants to 2,448 recipients in 42 countries and across 97 sports as part of its 2017 grant program. The grants provide financial assistance for sports equipment, sports prostheses, coaching, mentoring, and competition expenses for athletes of all ages and abilities who wish to live active lifestyles and compete in sports at any level. The distribution was the largest in the organization’s 24-year history, representing 17 percent growth in the number of approved grants over the 2016 calendar year.
Thirty-seven percent of those who received grants were first-time recipients. Three hundred seven recipients were permanently injured military personnel and first responders, with a 27 percent increase in female military personnel recipients compared to the 2016 grants. Grantees ranged in age from five to 83 years old.
“Any individual who has a physical challenge should never feel left out from participating in sports or physical activities,” said Bob Babbitt, CAF cofounder. “At CAF, we believe sports can change lives. That’s why we’re so committed to our grant programs—they are unique in the world of adaptive sports. A single grant empowers challenged athletes, which in turn creates positive change for individuals, families, communities, and society at large.”