Catalyst Sports — Adaptive Mountain Biking Tour: Knoxville 

Dralla sponsored the first and only adaptive mountain bike festival on the east coast. Athletes from all over the southeast even as far as Florida, Virginia and Ohio came down to ride in Knoxville. This festival allowed individuals who had never ridden an adaptive mountain bike before to access nature, while other riders came with their own adaptive bikes to participate in a short track race and group rides. We successfully had over 24 individuals come and ride with us over the duration of the adaptive mountain bike festival and, through 2 news stations covering our event, the thousands of mountain bikers in attendance of the AMBC Fall Festival, and adaptive athletes sharing this information within their networks we were able to bring awareness towards integrative opportunities for outdoor sports.

Friends of Greensboro/Catalyst Sports — Adaptive Mountain Biking Experience and Adaptive Sports Expo

The 2021 event made Greensboro, NC the 9th and final city on the tour with Catalyst Sports for adaptive mountain biking. The adaptive sports expo and clinic created awareness and promoted outdoor recreation in an inclusive and accessible environment through the use of adaptive cycles. The variety of adaptive equipment and cycles allowed people with various physical disabilities an opportunity to experience the gift of nature on a trail. People who did not think they could ride again were amazed by the experience! It was remarkable to see firsthand.

Participants had the opportunity to ride a mountain bike outdoors in nature and experience the fun a biking trail has to offer. Participants had the opportunity to learn more about adaptive equipment, mountain biking and trails and provide feedback to instructors and staff allowing them to shape the direction of future inclusive outdoor recreation experiences in Greensboro. This event provided quality instructors, a variety of bikes and tools, training, trail inspection, and recommendations for a sustainable trail. 

Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA Paralympic Introductory Clinic and Adaptive Sports Expo  

GLASA presented a two-day adaptive track and field clinic that welcomed both beginners as well as athletes who wish to become elite competitors; this Dralla grant supported the beginner experience. Activities for beginners included introductory sessions in ambulatory running, wheelchair racing, ambulatory and seated throwing (such as shot put and javelin), jumps, yoga, and strength and conditioning. Participants also received information about basic adaptive sports equipment maintenance, tried a variety of types and brands of racing wheelchairs and other sports equipment, and attended sessions on nutrition and sports psychology. GLASA hosted 10 presenters that included former and current Paralympic athletes and Team USA coaches; in addition to providing instruction in their respective events, presenters shared their stories about their journey to the Paralympic Games. This unforgettable experience served 78 people, including 38 individuals with a physical or visual disabilities.

STRIDE Adaptive Sports — Inaugural Upstate NY Sled Hockey Tournament and Free Sled Hockey Clinic

Dralla funding made it possible to host the first-ever Upstate NY Sled Hockey Tournament, in conjunction with a day of free clinics on the ice for anyone wanting to learn the sport and try out the sleds. The tournament was hugely successful, providing an unforgettable weekend for everyone in attendance. The ‘Learn-to-Play’ clinics garnered many new players, and attendees were very appreciative for an educational lunch program on nutrition for optimal performance. Local press got behind the event to ensure we had great local participation – and recognition – as we promoted awareness for this growing national sport. We had 4 teams competing at the Albany County Hockey Facility, from all over the upstate area, including a team from Vermont, and we hope to grow this tournament in the upcoming years!