U.S. Paralympics has named Turnstone in Fort Wayne one of three Gold Level Clubs in the country as part of the Paralympic Sport Club Excellence Program. The organization also recognized Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis in the program's Silver Level.

January 6, 2014

News Release

Colorado Springs, Colorado & Fort Wayne, Ind. — U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, today announced that Turnstone has been recognized as a GOLD level club as a part of the Paralympic Sport Club Excellence Program, which also recognizes 36 other clubs across the country. Created in 2013, the excellence program is designed to support Paralympic Sport Clubs as they evolve their sport programming in areas such as athlete identification and coaching education, and recognize their contributions to growing the Paralympic Movement in the United States.

“At the United States Olympic Committee, we are committed to supporting U.S. Paralympic athletes in achieving sustained competitive excellence,” said Rick Adams, USOC chief of Paralympic sport and NGB organizational development. “Today, we are proud to recognize the Paralympic Sport Clubs that have achieved their own excellence by working locally to help develop athletes and coaches from grassroots to the Paralympic Games. The continued commitment we receive from our local partners makes U.S. Paralympics athletes and coaches stronger on all levels.”

The multi-tier excellence program has benchmarks at the bronze, silver and gold levels to give participating clubs a blueprint for transitioning from a basic provider (bronze level) to an elite provider (gold level) of Paralympic programming. After a Paralympic Sport Club completes a level, the club will be eligible to receive recognition and an award designated for the bronze, silver or gold level. Clubs designated as gold or silver receive a stipend for programming, while bronze-level clubs receive recognition banners.

“Turnstone is one of three Gold Level Clubs in the United States, which says a lot about Turnstone and what is offered for parathletes here in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Turnstone has become a leader in the adaptive sports world and continues to thrive with these sports and many new sports in the future. This recognition from the USOC will allow Turnstone to continue to bring great opportunities to people with disabilities and golas of becoming a Paralympic athlete,” said Mike Mushett, Turnstone CEO.

When the program launched in 2013, 24 programs were recognized. This year, an additional 13 clubs across the country achieved excellence for the first time or moved up a level from 2013 (indicated with *). These 13 clubs are: Turnstone Center* in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, at the gold level; Arizona Disabled Sports in Mesa, Arizona, Charleston Area Medical Center* in Charleston, West Virginia, Community Rowing Inc.* in Brighton, Massachusetts, Disabled Athlete Sports Association* in St. Peters, Missouri, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association* in Lake Forest, Illinois, Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama, National Ability Center in Park City, Utah, Northeast Passage* in Durham, New Hampshire, Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana* in Indianapolis and Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities in Phoenix at the silver level; and HOPE Inc., in Moorhead, Minnesota, Michigan State University Demmer Center in Lansing, Michigan, and SMCL Foundation & Associates in New Orleans, Louisiana at the bronze level. Recognition levels are valid through the end of the quadrennial, but clubs have the option to move up the following year.

Participation is open and voluntary to all Paralympic Sport Clubs. All participating clubs must start at the bronze level before moving to the silver and gold levels.

About U.S. Paralympics

U.S. Paralympics, a division of the USOC, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and to promoting excellence in the lives of persons with physical disabilities. Visit the U.S. Paralympics Web site at www.usparalympics.org.

ABOUT TURNSTONE: Founded in 1943, Turnstone empowers people with disabilities by maximizing their independence. The agency’s mission is to provide therapeutic, educational, wellness and recreational programs to empower people with disabilities, and it is the only not-for-profit in the region that offers a full range of programs and facilities designed to meet the unique needs of people with disabilities.

Source: Turnstone

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