Event to be held at County College of Morris on Saturday, April 14

Picatinny Arsenal will host an adaptive sports celebration with demonstrations by para athletes, including veterans and first responders, at the County College of Morris (CCM). The event takes place on Saturday, April 14, from 12:00-2:30 p.m. in the Health and Physical Education building. Adaptive sports are played by people with disabilities who use modified equipment to meet their needs.

Open to the public, the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games Celebration will showcase wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, racing wheelchairs, and archery. The public will have an opportunity to try the para athletic equipment and participate in game demonstrations.

The purposes of Saturday’s event are to increase awareness, experience the excitement of adaptive sports, and promote the 2018 DoD Warrior Games that will be held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs from June 2-9. Adaptive sports enable veterans and civilians to recover physically and emotionally from debilitating injuries.

Speaking at the celebration will be Brandon Holiday, a seven-time Team USA member and seven-time national paracanoe sprint kayak champion, who will talk about the importance of using sports as a catalyst to heal. Holiday, a decorated police officer who was born in Livingston and now resides in Philadelphia, lost his left leg below the knee in 2006 from a blood-clotting condition called antiphospholipid syndrome.

“We want to allow the public the opportunity to meet these incredible athletes, learn about career choices such as engineering, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, and see the equipment used in the sports,” said Richard W. Eastman, Jr., event organizer. He is a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army NJ and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce’s military liaison. “Not all the athletes are veterans. Some of the para athletes are first responders and non-military, and we want to put a focus on adaptive sports with an educational emphasis.”

One aspect of the celebratory day is to encourage students to find careers that assist the para community. The CCM Engineering Department recently announced that it is 50 percent complete in building its first prosthetic leg for donation. The department plans to build these prosthetics for children. The CCM School of Health Professionals and Natural Sciences also will have information on specific associate degrees that align with the event’s mission. In addition, CCM has a veterans’ services office and encourages those who served, as well as eligible dependents, to make full use of their VA educational benefits.

Parking for the DoD Warrior Games Celebration will be in lots 7 and 8. CCM is located at 214 Center Grove Road in Randolph.

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