Athletes train at NBVC for Warrior Games

Twelve Navy athletes selected to participate in the 2013 Warrior Games attended a training camp at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Jan. 11-13 to hone their skills in cycling and archery.

Athletes participating in the other sports that are part of the Warrior Games are scheduled to train at other sites. A total of 35 wounded, ill and injured athletes are on the Navy-Coast Guard team that will compete May 11-17 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Track and field athletes and swimmers will train at Pennsylvania State University next month. Volleyball and wheelchair basketball competitors will train in Colorado Springs.

“We’re bringing the sports to where the coaches and the athletes are,” explained Lt. Megan Haydel of Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor, which coordinates care for wounded, ill and injured Sailors and Coast Guardsmen. “California is ideal year-round for outdoor sports like cycling.”

She said the January camp and one coming up in March are especially exciting because the athletes who are at NBVC training have already been selected for the team.

“We’re eager for the opportunity for them to hone their skills and make progress toward their goals,” she said.

During previous training camps, the athletes had taken time out of their training regimen to share their stories with young Sailors in the Naval Construction Training Center, go sailing and have beach barbecues. None of that was built into the January camp.

“They are here to train,” Haydel said.

NBVC became a training center for the Warrior Games three years ago.

“In 2010, when the program first began, there was a need to find a home and a motivated team that could help develop an idea into the program that it is today,” said Fred Morgan, the athletic director for NBVC’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation program who was instrumental in bringing the Navy’s wounded warriors to the base. “So NBVC and Navy Wounded Warrior-Safe Harbor worked out the details and really became the pioneers of the Navy-Coast Guard Adaptive Athletics Program, otherwise known as the Wounded Warrior Program. The changes or restructuring are all part of growing a program and finding efficiencies that make sense.”

© 2013 Ventura County Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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CAPT. LARRY VASQUEZ

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