News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
October 26, 2012

Media Contact:
Laura Phillips

Us Olympic Committee Grant Enables Miami-Dade County Parks to Help Disabled Veterans Enjoy Outdoor Sports

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's Disability Services Division has been awarded a 2012 Olympic Opportunity Fund grant totaling $24,000--from the US Olympic Committee (USOC), Paralympic Division.  The funds will be used to create Miami-Dade County Parks' new "COVERT Project" (Connecting the Outdoors with Veterans through Education, Recreation and Training) that will enable local disabled veterans to enjoy the sports of: archery, sports shooting (air rifles/guns), kayaking and swimming. 

The following are the upcoming COVERT session days, times and locations:

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
November 1, 8, 15, 29, & December 6
Camp Owaissa Bauer, 17001 SW 264 St., Homestead

Shooting Sports (Air Rifles/Guns)
10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
January 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13, 20, & 27 
Trail Glades Gun Range, 17601 SW 8th St., Miami

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
March 7, 14, 21, 28, April 4, & 11
Crandon Park, 4000 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
April 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, & 23
AD Barnes Pool, 3701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami

Program dates are subject to change. Limited transportation will be provided from the Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Miami. Participants must pre-register in order to secure spots as space is limited. Program participation is limited to disabled veterans with the following disabling conditions: Spinal Cord Injury, Amputation, and Traumatic Head Injury. Some restrictions in participation may apply to certain sporting activities.

For more information and to pre-register, contact Miami-Dade County Parks Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Jody Cox at 305-234-1673.

Miami-Dade County Parks Disability Services is one of a few organizations nationwide to receive the 2012 Olympic Opportunity Fund grant through the USOC, US Paralympics Division.  The USOC has awarded more than $2 million in grant funding to a total of 97 organizations in support of Paralympic sport and physical activity programs for disabled veterans and disabled members of the Armed forces.  The Olympic Opportunity Fund is provided through a partnership between the USOC and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Grants ranging from $10,000-$25,000 were provided to USOC partner organizations to increase the number and quality of opportunities for physically and visually impaired veterans to participate in physical activity within their home communities and in more advanced Paralympic sports programs. 

In its third year, the Olympic Opportunity Fund has provided more than $4 million to 223 USOC partner and community programs resulting in thousands of veterans with physical and visual impairments who are participating in sports programs and opportunities at the regional and national levels.

About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,848 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information visit Miami-Dade County Parks or call 3-1-1.

Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.  For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit Parks Foundation.

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.


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