Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. Features Disabled and Able-Bodied Athletes

By Richard Rhinehart

Washington, D.C., June 30, 2016 – National non-profit World T.E.A.M. Sports announced today a generous grant by New Jersey non-profit Dralla Foundation will provide needed support for the September 17 Adventure Team Challenge in suburban Washington, D.C.

Adventure Team Challenge athlete celebrates.

A participating athlete at World T.E.A.M. Sports’ inaugural Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. in 2011 celebrates. World T.E.A.M. Sports archive photograph.

Modeled after World T.E.A.M. Sports’ annual Adventure Team Challenge in western Colorado, the mid-Atlantic event offers developmentally and intellectually disabled young athletes the opportunity to participate in challenging outdoor sports. Teamed with able-bodied coaches, the athletes will ride mountain bikes, hike, and canoe in the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park northwest of the city.

“World T.E.A.M. Sports is excited to bring our unique event back to the Washington, D.C. area,” said World T.E.A.M. Sports CEO and President Van Brinson. “This challenging event gives youth with disabilities an opportunity to participate with a team event and experience the outdoors almost in their own backyard. Partnering with Best Buddies also allows both organizations to continue pursuing their missions while making the most of our valuable resources.”

First held in June 2011, the Dralla Foundation Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. has included nearly 60 teens in three events. Participating athletes with disabilities ranging from autism to Down syndrome to Cerebral Palsy and Asperger syndrome have successfully completed the Challenge course. For many of these athletes, this outdoor adventure represents their first experience in paddling a canoe or riding a bicycle.

Preparing to canoe on the C&O Canal.

Team members at the 2013 Adventure Team Challenge Washington D.C. prepare for canoeing on the C&O Canal. World T.E.A.M. Sports archive photograph.

Disabled and able-bodied athletes selected by non-profit Best Buddies Capital Region will compete in the September 17 event. Beginning at the Carderock Recreation Area just outside the Washington beltway, the multi-mile Challenge ends at the Boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove. For all of the disabled and able-bodied participants, the event will be long remembered. To successfully complete each of the three stages, athletes must work together as partners, rather than as individual athletes.

Participating athletes are scheduled to hike one mile on a Carderock trail, ride seven miles along the C & O Canal gravel pathway on bicycles, and paddle one-half mile by canoe along the historic canal. Following the final stage, participants will gather at a celebration with parents and families for the awarding of completion medals.

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.

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. World T.E.A.M. Sports archive photograph.