By Richard Rhinehart
Holbrook, New York, April 10, 2014 – National inclusive sports provider World T.E.A.M. Sports announced today the organization has been accepted by the directors of R4 Alliance as the 501(c)3 non-profit’s newest member.
Created in 2012 by eight non-profit organizations providing community and therapeutic based recreational services to Our Military Family (US service members, veterans, and their families) across the United States, the R4 Alliance is a cooperative, voluntary venture from its member organizations. Other non-profit organizations providing recreation services to Our Military Family are invited to apply for membership.
“R4 Alliance is focused on bringing the ‘best of the best’ in community and therapeutic recreational services together in a collaborative effort to provide excellence in research, education, and continuum of care to Our Military Family,” said Chuck Steele, the Alliance’s Executive Director. “Our founding members are excited by the continuing inclusion of programs such as World T.E.A.M. Sports and the opportunity to learn and build a stronger presence for our veterans. We are excited about the journey that has started and look forward to sharing and learning from World T.E.A.M. Sports.”
Since the September 2001 attacks upon America, more than 650,000 military personnel have returned or are returning home from their national service with injuries ranging from loss of limb to blindness to paralysis to Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injuries. Recognizing that these veterans will need assistance and support for many years, R4 Alliance seeks to meet their needs through collaborative research, by establishing high standards of practice, by creating effective communication between service providers, and by improving education and training for service providers.
Following initial discussions among the founding members in November 2012, R4 Alliance met with representatives from the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of the Army, and the Veterans Administration to identify a strategic plan for the organization. Seeking to maximize potential of Our Military Family, the R4 Alliance members and partners will collaboratively work to meet objectives and to better serve military families nationally.
Learning of the Alliance through a March adaptive sports conference hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton, World T.E.A.M. Sports found the organization’s mission to be compelling. Reaching out to Steele, and to Bert Gillette, the organization’s Director of Programs and Outreach, World T.E.A.M. Sports CEO and President Van Brinson determined a partnership would be beneficial to World T.E.A.M. Sports’ many injured veterans. In addition, an alliance with other member organizations will provide valued cooperation between like-minded recreational organizations, sharing of preferred practices and expanding recreational opportunities for veterans and their families nationally.
“World T.E.A.M. Sports is proud to join with R4 Alliance,” said Brinson. “Collaborations such as this allow us to maximize our resources while continuing to expand our outreach into the disabled sports community.”
“The enthusiasm that programs like World T.E.A.M. Sports bring to R4 Alliance, along with the energy of other applying organizations has been very encouraging. Our collective experience and combined knowledge grows with every program of excellence we bring on board,” said Gillette. “The vision our founding members have cultivated for the last two years is coming to fruition. Together, our voices become stronger and together we will improve the quality of community and therapeutic recreational services for Our Military Family nationwide!”
In accepting the partnership with the R4 Alliance, World T.E.A.M. Sports joins non-profits Higher Ground, Team River Runner, Northeast Passage, Project Sanctuary, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Operation Game On, Ride 2 Recovery, Eagle Rock, Honor House, the Sierra Club Military Families and Veterans Initiative and the Terros Advancing Heroes Project. Among these partners, more than 70,000 military veterans and their families have been served to date. The R4 Alliance is currently seeking strategic partners, volunteers, donors, and sponsors to continue national expansion and outreach. Learn about the R4 Alliance at http://r4alliance.org/.
World T.E.A.M. Sports is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization chartered in North Carolina and headquartered in Holbrook, New York. Since 1993, World T.E.A.M. Sports has organized athletic events for disabled and able bodied citizens – mountain climbing, white water rafting, biking, and more. Four things always happen at our events: (1) Disabled participants build self-confidence and physical fitness; (2) The disabled provide a role model for other disabled citizens, encouraging them to take up physical activities; (3) The disabled become a moving inspiration to other participants and to spectators when they see that disabled individuals can meet challenges beyond anyone’s imagination; and (4) The disabled and able-bodied participants learn to work as a team to overcome those challenges. World T.E.A.M. Sports changes lives through sports.