CAP President Speaks at Rotary Club of Clearwater Meeting
(-r) Scott Goyer, President\CEO YMCA Suncoast, Lew Friedland President Challenged Athletes Foundation, Bob Clark, Clearwater Printing at the Rotary Club of Clearwater.
Physically handicapped athletes and their positive spirit, was the subject that Rotarian Scott Goyer asked Lew Friedland, president, Jireh, Inc., to speak on at a recent Wednesday noon meeting of the Rotary Club of Clearwater at Belleair Country Club. Friedland, president of Florida Chapter of Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), spoke about the Foundation’s work with amazing physically handicapped athletes, who have lost legs, arms, feet, hands or a combination of lost limbs, and yet they excel in active rugged sports competition. Rotarians viewed photos of Gold and Silver medal winners at the Para Olympics, held shortly after the regular Olympics in Beijing.
The mission of Challenged Athletes Foundation, is to provide opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. From 1998 to 2004, Lew served as president of World Triathlon Corporation, overseeing all aspects of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship. Lew’s work with WTC brought him into contact with CAF.
The Blaze Sports Club in Tampa provides competitive events for multiple sports activities for physically handicapped athletes. Basketball is played in wheelchairs. The usual home wheelchair readily tips over in these events, throwing the athlete onto the floor. This year the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), plans to provide every athlete in the club, a special sports wheelchair, one that is more stable during competitive matches.
The CAF provides mentoring, equipment and assistance, nationally to hundreds of youngsters of all ages, and to Irag and Afghanistan veterans. CAF is a 501( c )3 non-profit organization that closely works with prosthetic labs to provide the latest technology in prosthetics for the individual handicapped athlete.
The dedication and enthusiasm of the individual athlete in overcoming physical handicaps is inspiring to see.
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