Sports clinic for disabled vets includes Sunapee basketball game

The 14th Annual Winter Sports Clinic for Disabled Veterans gets underway today at Mount Sunapee Resort in Newbury. The clinic (January 10 – 14) is all about providing physically challenged veterans an opportunity to learn and participate in adaptive alpine skiing and other adaptive  sports and activities…air rifle shooting, snowmobile rides, sports massage, basketball, and an awards banquet. The sponsors include the New England Handicapped Sports Association based at Mount Sunapee, the VA Healthcare Network, the New England Paralyzed Veterans of America, and Mount Sunapee Resort. Activities also take place at the Best Western in Newbury.

As in prior years, a wheelchair basketball game is part of the program. On Tuesday, January 11 at 7 pm at the Sunapee Middle High School gym on North Road the Disabled American Veterans will take on the Sunapee Fire Department. Admission is free.

Tony Santilli, Marine Corps Veteran whose leg was amputated after being wounded in Vietnam, had a dream of sharing the feeling of freedom and motion that he gets from skiing with local area veterans. Santilli remembers his first reaction to being told to give skiing a try was, “what are you nuts?” Then he tried it and was immediately hooked. Tony found that skiing helped him to overcome PTSD and his disability.

Through combining resources and contacts, Santilli and Ralph Marche, Chief of Voluntary Service at Boston VA, established the New England Winter Sports Clinic for Disabled Veterans turning Santilli’s dream into reality in January 1998. Today Tony is a certified instructor, expert skier – – one of the best on the mountains on any given day regardless of a missing leg. —  Read more via NEHSA: Disabled Veterans Program History

For more information, visit the New England Handicapped Sports Association website.

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