Mesa Hosts Desert Challenge Games May 24-28

~ Nearly 200 athletes with disabilities from 11 countries will come together in Mesa, Arizona for the 32nd annual Desert Challenge Games from May 24-28. The event, hosted in partnership with The Hartford, will feature swimming, track and field, air rifle/pistol and archery competitions. Additionally, free para sports clinics in boccia and para powerlifting will be offered. Countries represented include Brazil, Ghana, Peru and Puerto Rico. Athletes range in age from 6 to 77 and include 14 military veterans.

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

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The Desert Challenge Games serves as a qualifier for The Hartford Nationals scheduled July 8-14 in Birmingham, Alabama. Admission to all events is free and the public is encouraged to come out and support the athletes.

Arizona Disabled Sports is the leading organization providing athletic opportunities for individuals with all types of disabilities in Arizona; they will have 33 athletes competing at the Desert Challenge Games this year. To learn more about the event or schedule an interview with Executive Director Carol Leicht (480-835-6273 or, visit the Arizona Disabled Sports website. 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.

Filed Under: Government, City

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