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U.S. Paralympics recognizes Northeast Passage for excellence

Dec 8, 2015

Durham, N.H. ― U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee, today announced that Northeast Passage has been recognized as a Gold Level Club as a part of the Paralympic Sport Club Excellence Program, which also recognizes 57 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.

“Paralympic Sport Clubs are critical not only for the development of athletes but also for the growth of the Paralympic movement in the United States,” said Rick Adams, chief of Paralympic sport and NGB organizational development. “We are grateful for the investment these Paralympic Sports Clubs have made in their communities and we are proud to honor their commitment to excellence in supporting future Paralympians.”

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.

“Competitive sports are an important part of what we do here at NEP,” said Jill Gravink, executive director of Northeast Passage. “We work very hard to assure that our athletes and coaches have the infrastructure that will give them the greatest opportunity for success. Becoming a Gold Level Paralympic Sports Club demonstrates our expertise in the area of competitive sports and our commitment to the Paralympic Movement.”

When the program launched in 2013, 24 programs were recognized. This year, an additional 14 clubs across the country achieved excellence for the first time or moved up a level from 2014. These 14 clubs are:

Gold medal awardees:
Ability 360, Phoenix, Ariz.
Arizona Disabled Sports, Mesa, Ariz.
Community Rowing Inc., Brighton, Mass.
Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association, Lake Forest, Ill.
Lakeshore Foundation, Birmingham, Ala.
National Ability Center, Park City, Utah
Northeast Passage, Durham, N.H.

Silver medal awardee:
Bridge II Sports, Durham, N.C.

Bronze medal awardees:
Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Cincinnati, Ohio
Carolinas HealthCare System, Charlotte, N.C.
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, Golden Valley, Minn.
STRIDE Adaptive Sports, Renesslaer, N.Y.
Spaulding Adaptive Sports, East Sandwich, Mass.
Youth Challenge, Westlake, Ohio

Recognition levels are valid through the end of the quadrennial, but clubs have the option to move up the following year.

For a complete list of clubs participating in the excellence program and their level, click here.

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

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