The University of Arizona is home to the largest Adaptive Athletics program in the country.

The Arizona Board of Regents is granting $160,000 in funding toward U of A’s Adaptive Athletics Program.

It means everything,” Adaptive Athletic Director Peter Hughes said. “When I took over five years ago, I was able to go up as an expert witness on how important it is for states to fund adaptive athletic programs.

This funding from the state of Arizona will be helpful to some of the newer teams in the adaptive athletic program like the para swim team. This is only their second year in the program, and it is their first year with a full team.

Last year we had a super small team and as a swimmer even its an individual sport, somehow when you swim with other people it takes the load off,” para swim coach, Laura Utsch said. “Knowing other people are going through the same pain you are, it helps you train hard.

For swimmers like Annalysa Lovos, seeing the growth of the team has meant a great deal.

Im incredibly lucky,” Lovos said. “I came here as a graduate fellowship and got to be instrumental in and starting this team as the first swimmer.

With the new funds coming into the Adaptive Athletics Program, Coach Utsch and her athletes cant wait to see where the team can go from here.

The opportunity the University of Arizona is giving our para-athletes is really important,” Utsch said.

Everyone thinks sports are so important for able-bodied people and they forget what sports can do for people with disabilities,” para swimmer Story Turner said.”

The teams first meet will September 16th through the 17th at the 2023 California classic in Yucaipa, California.



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