Challenged Athletes Foundation Marks 30th Year with Historic $8.1 Million Grant Distribution

Over 4,497 individuals around the world with physical disabilities receive grants for adaptive sports equipment, training, and competition expenses


Press release by: Christy Fritts

Continuing to open doors to unlimited possibilities, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) proudly announces the distribution of a record-breaking 4,497 athletes receiving grants totaling an unprecedented $8.1 million – the largest in the organization’s history. As CAF commemorates its 30th anniversary, this milestone grant distribution reflects a commitment to supporting individuals of all ages to discover their full potential through sports. CAF is a world leader in the adaptive sports movement and has supported thousands of athletes with physical disabilities, empowering their lives through sport.

“As we celebrate our 30th Grant Distribution, we stand proud of the life-changing impact of CAF support,” said Kristine Entwistle, CAF Chief Executive Director. “By giving access to equipment, travel, and competition expenses across 105 sports, we empower individuals to achieve their dreams and strengthen the community we’ve built over three decades. This milestone year fuels our commitment to continue pioneering inclusivity in sports.”

For 30 years, CAF has been committed to positively impacting athletes of all skill levels through the global Grant Program. This initiative provides financial support for items that are often overlooked by medical insurance, such as running prosthetics, adaptive sports equipment, and expenses associated with competition travel, training, and coaching. 

This year, CAF’s grant distribution has reached a diverse range of athletes, spanning ages from three to 90, residing in 50 states and 32 countries. Across 105 different sports and activities, such as wheelchair basketball, surfing, adaptive fitness training, cycling, wheelchair rugby, pickleball, alpine and nordic skiing, sled hockey, and outdoor recreation, CAF continues to empower individuals to pursue their athletic dreams.

Operation Rebound Grants

Operation Rebound Group Photo

A significant portion of this year’s grants, totaling $649,000 was allocated through CAF’s Operation Rebound program, supporting veterans and first responders in their pursuit of healing and community through sports. Since its inception in 2005, Operation Rebound has been instrumental in providing resources and support to those seeking solace and strength in athletic endeavors.

Partnership Grants

CAF’s Grant Program offers a diverse range of support opportunities, ensuring athletes have access to the resources they need to thrive. Global Partners including Össur, CAF’s exclusive and global prosthetic partner, has helped thousands of people in the limb loss and limb different community pursue a life without limitations. This year, 127 Össur prosthetic sports feet and 24  knees were granted to deserving athletes. EOS Fitness, granted 81 complimentary gym memberships to eligible athletes across the country; and Toyota, presented 11 grants at Toyota Sports Festival activations at the Los Angeles and New York Auto Shows and CAF Community Challenge. Additionally, discretionary grants are awarded throughout the year, supplementing the organization’s comprehensive support system.

Paralympic Athlete Grants

The upcoming 2024 Paralympic Games mark a pinnacle of aspiration for some special CAF athletes across the globe. CAF has a long history of contributing to the athletic journeys of these elite athletes and has traditionally supported over 55% of Team USA athletes at some point in their career. The organization’s Grant Program is pivotal, providing athletes with the necessary funds for coaching, training, and travel for competitions. CAF is honored to stand beside these athletes as they showcase their talents on the global stage.

2024 Grant Distribution Facts and Figures

  • 105 sports
  • 50 states + Washington DC and Puerto Rico
  • 32 countries
  • Youngest grant recipient- Age 3
  • Oldest grant recipient- Age 90
  • 24% of grant recipients under the age of 18
  • 38% are first-time grant recipients
  • 35% are female
  • 65% are male
  • 20% Limb loss/Limb difference
  • 13% Spina Bifida
  • 9% Cerebral Palsy
  • 9% Spinal Cord Injury
  • 8% Paraplegia
  • 4% Visual Impairment
  • 2% Quadriplegia
  • 2% Traumatic Brain Injury

Through the generosity of partners this past fiscal year, CAF was able to help more people than ever by providing support, products, and services to grant recipients. CAF grants are made possible by generous donors, global partners, sponsors, fundraisers and major grant funders. Global partners include Nike, Össur, Toyota, Smoothie King, 100%, Accenture, EoS Fitness, and J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.

Major endowments and grant funders, CAF Endowment in Memory of Robin Williams, CAF Endowment in Memory of Robert Spotswood, Kenneth Whalen Family Foundation, Kenneth Whalen Family Foundation, L.L. Foundation for Youth, SWITCHFOOT BRO-AM Foundation, Foundation for Global Sports Development, Yellowstone Club Community Foundation, IRONMAN Foundation, Maximus Foundation, Devils Youth Foundation, The Olympic Club Foundation, Copley Foundation, DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, Oakland A’s Community Fund, USS Midway Foundation, Walter J. and Betty C. Zable Foundation, Harth Family Foundation, J&L Pie Company, Bridgestone, SDG&E, Wander Project, Ares Management, Designer Wellness, ROTH Capital Partners, Thompson Family Foundation, Rae and Jonathan Corr Family Foundation, Hellman Family Foundation.

We appreciate our adaptive sports equipment providers Össur Americas, Box Wheelchairs, Carbonbike USA, Colours Wheelchairs, Eagle Sportschairs, GRIT Freedom Chairs, Melrose Wheelchairs, Per4Max, Power Soccer Shop, RGK Wheelchair, Top End, Unique Inventions, Vesco Metal Craft.