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The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Launches ‘Heroes of Sport’ Campaign

February 1, 2019

San Diego, Feb. 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) today launched its ‘Heroes of Sport’ campaign, a special continuation of the organization’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Featured in the campaign are high-profile athletes including NBA Legend Kobe Bryant, NFL quarterback Drew Brees, professional golfer Michelle Wie and nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix. In emotional video content that highlights a common athletic spirit, these professionals are paired with wheelchair basketball Paralympic gold medalist Megan Blunk, high school quarterback Alex Ruiz, World Blind Golf Champion Jeremy Poincenot and Paralympic track athlete and CAF spokesperson Scout Bassett.

“Their commitment to excellence is extremely inspirational,” said Bryant, who recently spent an afternoon with CAF grant recipient and gold medalist Megan Blunk, Paralympian Scout Bassett and CAF youth grant recipient Luzi Castillo. “The emotional challenges for all athletes remain the same and we have to do a better job at making sure we provide the proper equipment so that they can go and live those challenges. It’s our responsibility to give them the proper tools so that they can go on and be exceptional.”

‘Heroes of Sport’ is a multi-platform campaign with a broadcast PSA and social media focus. The message highlights the belief that all athletes are more alike than they are different- all striving to practice, play, compete and celebrate. Yet, for individuals with physical challenges expensive adaptive equipment can be a barrier to participation. The campaign will be featured nationwide and encourages people to join the professional athletes in helping CAF provide more access to sports.

“I love that this campaign shines a light on the similarities that all athletes share, regardless of ability - our competitive spirit, our passion for our sport, our teamwork, our commitment to practice,” said Wie, the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open Golf Champion. “I support the work of the Challenged Athletes Foundation to empower athletes of all abilities through sport.”

CAF programs include grants for adaptive sports equipment, adaptive sport camps + clinics, Operation Rebound (providing support for injured military, veterans and first responders) and mentorship. Through the community we build, CAF empowers the newly injured and those with physical challenges by fostering inclusion and connection to others who can positively impact their lives. In 2018, 95 different sports were supported including wheelchair rugby, blind surfing, equestrian, sled hockey, adaptive CrossFit and many, many more that empower an active lifestyle.

“Our new ‘Heroes of Sport’ campaign brings to life the common thread that unites athletes no matter the sport, while showcasing the incredible impact CAF is making in our community each day,” said Virginia Tinley, Chief Executive Director of CAF. “The campaign captures the vast range of emotions and goals that athletes share no matter age or ability. Yet for people with physical challenges, expensive and specialized adaptive sports equipment is essential to realizing athletic dreams.”

On YouTube:

1. Compilation Video with all athletes https://youtu.be/gZzD-WhPHa4 2. Football- Drew Brees & Alex Ruiz https://youtu.be/9vZFYb9b_O0 3. Track-Allyson Felix & Scout Bassett https://youtu.be/O6KXOhOFKGQ 4. Basketball- Kobe Bryant & Megan Blunk https://youtu.be/2Wdb_euMaws 5. Golf- Michelle Wie & Jeremy Poincenot https://youtu.be/aaD54L3ymJs

About the Challenged Athletes FoundationThe Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $100 million has been raised and over 23,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts impact another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles. To learn more, visit challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.

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Laura Stein CAF 3109802855 laura@challengedathletes.org

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