HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The city of Huntsville and many local organizations hosted the 2021 U.S. Paralympics Cycling Open, where athletes competed for a chance to represent Team USA at the Olympic games.
So many of those athletes not only felt supported but appreciated last year. Now, Huntsville will be hosting the open for the second year in a row and is taking it a step further by helping find the next generation of Para-Cyclists.
The Huntsville Sports Commission along with Phoenix are partnering with the U.S. Paralympic Cycling Organization to host a Paralympics development clinic. The clinic will be at the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s fitness center on Sunday, April 3, from 2 – 4:30 p.m.
“This really is an opportunity to identify individuals with physical and or visual impairment who might not know about para-cycling and the opportunity that it presents themselves. This is a way for them to come out and learn more,” Erin Koshut, Executive Director of Cummings Research Park told News 19.
The clinic is for those who are 18 and over who have a physical or visual impairment, Koshut says this clinic is not only meant to find the next generation but give people an opportunity to find something they truly might fall in love with.
Koshut added this will give them confidence and a unique opportunity, “Try out the different cycles, that are there under the guidance of U.S. Paracycling coaches that are there.”
There will be three different types of cycles at the event that will be connected to “Zwift,” an online racing system and physical training program which is used throughout the cycling community.
“The coach and the mechanic will help get that individual into the cycle that is aligned with their particular impairment or ability and then they’ll get a chance to ride and try that out and see how that feels,” Koshut explained.
Koshut says cyclists throughout the nation and worldwide heard just how supportive and welcoming Huntsville was and is a reason as to why they’re hosting the open for the second year in a row.
“We just think it’s a really important step into encouraging inclusive communities and encouraging these individuals that there are no limitations to what they can accomplish,” she said.
If you or someone you know has always wanted to be a part of this and possibly represent team USA in the Olympics, click here to pre-register before April 1, 2022.
The 2022 U.S Paralympics Cycling Open is scheduled to take place April 8-10.