Mesa Hosts Desert Challenge Games May 24-28

May 17, 2023 at 1:08 pm

Nearly 200 athletes with disabilities from 11 countries will compete in the 2023 Desert Challenge Games in partnership with The Hartford in Mesa May 24-28.

Now in its 32nd year, the Desert Challenge Games will include swimming, track and field, air rifle/pistol and archery. In addition, free para sports clinics in boccia and para powerlifting will be offered. Kino Aquatic Center, Broadway Recreation Center and Mesa Community College will be hosting the events. Countries represented include Brazil, Ghana, Peru and Puerto Rico. Athletes range in age from 6 to 77 and include 14 military veterans. The 2023 Desert Challenge Games serves as a qualifier for The Hartford Nationals, scheduled July 8-14 in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Hartford and Paralympic medalist Hailey Danz, will surprise three adaptive athletes with their own custom-fit adaptive sports equipment at the opening ceremony May 26 at 11:30 a.m. at Mesa Community College. Adaptive sports equipment costs approximately 15 times more than traditional sports equipment.

Arizona Disabled Sports, which will have 33 athletes competing, is the leading organization in Arizona that provides athletic opportunities for individuals with all types of disabilities. Admission is free to all events and the public is encouraged to come out and support the athletes. To learn more about the Desert Challenge games, visit the Arizona Disabled Sports website. To schedule an interview, contact Executive Director Carol Leicht at 480-835-6273 or

Sponsors of the Desert Challenge Games include The Hartford; City of Mesa; Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities; Visit Mesa; Move United; Ottobock; Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals; Mobility Works; Lakeshore; Hanger Clinic; Power Ranch Storage; Excel and Arizona Disabled Sports.