Dralla Foundation Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. Brings Together Athletes

By Richard Rhinehart

Washington, D.C., September 15, 2016 – National non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports’ inclusive Dralla Foundation Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. is returning to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park on Saturday, September 17. The outdoor adventure race will include adaptive and able-bodied athletes from the Washington region competing in a three-stage, single day event.

Paddling in the C & O Canal.

A team paddles in the C & O Canal during World T.E.A.M. Sports’ 2014 Adventure Team Challenge D.C. Photograph by Van Brinson.

In the three Adventure Team Challenges in Washington since June 2011, nearly 60 teens and young adults have participated in off-road bicycling, hiking and canoeing. In this year’s event, 15 adaptive athletes will be teamed with 15 able-bodied athletes selected by non-profit Best Buddies Capital Region. Volunteers from the Falls Church, Virginia organization will assist World T.E.A.M. Sports in the management of the event, which will feature meals and snacks for athletes provided by SUBWAY of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Edible Arrangements of DC and Arlington.

Competition begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Carderock Recreation Area just outside the Washington beltway. Athletes will hike one mile on a local trail, ride bicycles seven miles along the gravel C & O Canal pathway, and then paddle one-half mile along the historic canal in canoes. The Challenge concludes at the Boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove, where athletes will be joined by family and friends for a celebration and awarding of completion medals.

Athletes at the 2014 Adventure Team Challeng Washington D.C.

Athletes at the 2014 Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. join together for a team photograph. Photograph by Van Brinson.

Challenge athletes commonly include individuals with medical and developmental conditions ranging from autism to Down syndrome to Cerebral Palsy and Asperger syndrome. For many of these exceptional athletes, this outdoor adventure along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal represents their first sporting experience in paddling a canoe or riding a bicycle.

The 2016 Dralla Foundation Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. is presented by Dralla Foundation, in partnership with Best Buddies Capital Region. Additional support is provided by SUBWAY of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Edible Arrangements of DC and Arlington.

About Dralla Foundation

Dralla Foundation was founded by Peter Allard, President of Allard USA, a manufacturer of a range of orthopedic devices designed to improve physical function and enhance the quality of life for individuals with physical challenges. The testimonials of the wearers of these devices inspired Peter to give back to individuals with physical challenges and start Dralla Foundation. Dralla will award grants to other organizations who share their mission.

About Best Buddies

Best Buddies Capital Region is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities. Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with IDD. For individuals within this community, Best Buddies helps them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communications skills, and feel valued by society.

Hiking at the 2014 Challenge.

The 2016 Dralla Foundation Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. will begin with a hike, as did the 2014 Challenge. Photograph by Van Brinson.