TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Acting Commissioner Charles A. Richman today announced the award of three Athletics for Persons with Disabilities Grants for a total of $195,000 in funding. The grants are awarded to nonprofit groups across the state that offer sports training and athletic competition for disabled residents of all ages.

“At DCA, we are committed to providing recreational opportunities for all New Jerseyans,” Commissioner Richman said. “Athletic training and competition plays an integral role in the lives and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. These grants offer mentally and physically challenged children and adults a variety of athletic opportunities to enhance their lives and their communities.”

DCA awarded $125,000 to the Special Olympics in Lawrenceville, $40,000 to the Wheelchair Sports Council of New Jersey in Lebanon, and $30,000 to the Association of Blind Athletes of New Jersey in East Orange. The funding will support programs offered by the organizations for special needs athletes.

The Special Olympics will provide training and athletic competition to 9,000 developmentally disabled athletes, and locate and train 3,000 volunteers and 2,500 coaches and officials. The Wheelchair Sports Council will provide sports training and athletic competition for at least 50 wheelchair athletes. The grant will help the Association of Blind Athletes provide approximately 40 blind and visually impaired individuals with athletic training and competition in swimming, track and field, and power lifting.

Athletics for Persons with Disabilities Grants are designed to increase the availability of athletic events for individuals with disabilities through the support of statewide, nonprofit organizations. The grants are implemented through DCA’s Division of Community Resources.