Over 300 athletes with disabilities representing 12 countries will experience the power of sport and realize their true potential by competing at the 2022 Desert Challenge Games presented by The Hartford, taking place in Mesa, Arizona May 18 - 22.
Now in its 31st year, the 2022 Desert Challenge Games Presented by The Hartford is among the most prominent adaptive competitive sport events in the country and includes competitions in Air Pistol & Rifle, Archery, Swimming, and Track and Field. The Track & Field competition serves as a World Para Athletics sanctioned competition, bringing athletes from around the world to Mesa to compete. Individuals with disabilities will also be provided the opportunity to participate in clinics that will showcase adaptive Air Pistol & Rifle, Powerlifting, and Sit Volleyball.
The Hartford, along with World Champion and Para Snowboarder, Keith Gabel, will surprise four athletes. Three athletes will receive custom-fit adaptive sports equipment and the other will receive The Hartford's Human Achievement award. The award is given to an athlete, nominated by their peers, who serves as an advocate for the adaptive sports movement and inspires others as a role model.
"The 2022 Desert Challenge Games is a phenomenal opportunity for adaptive athletes to experience competition on an international level while being exposed to sports they may not have tried in the past. We look forward to welcoming athletes of all ages and abilities to our area and appreciate the opportunity to play a role in their adaptive sports journey," said Arizona Disabled Sports Executive Director Rhonda Carlson.
The 2022 Desert Challenge Games, sanctioned by Move United, is part of The Hartford Competition Series which brings together five premier competitive adaptive sports events across the country. Each competition is sanctioned by applicable National Governing Bodies and often serves as a pipeline to elite competition at the national and international level. This competition is also a qualifier for the Move United Junior Nationals presented by The Hartford, which is scheduled for July 16-22, 2022, in Metro Denver, Colorado.
"We are dedicated to raising awareness of adaptive sports and expanding access to sports participation for people of all abilities," said The Hartford's Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Claire Burns. "We are proud to sponsor the Desert Challenge Games and remain steadfast in our long-standing commitment to advancing the adaptive sports movement."
The Hartford has been inspiring human achievement through adaptive sports for nearly 30 years. As a leading provider of disability insurance, the company has seen first-hand the positive impact sports can have on people and is dedicated to making adaptive sports and equipment more accessible. This includes equipment donations to local sports clubs nationwide, raising awareness about equity in sports in partnership with its world class Team Hartford athletes, and hosting The Hartford's Competition Series, five premier competitive adaptive sports events.
The event is also sponsored by Visit Mesa, Hanger Clinic, and Ottobock. Arizona Disabled Sports partners with the City of Mesa Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities each year to host the Desert Challenge Games. For more information, visit www.desertchallengegames.com.