"Recovery through sport:" Disabled service members take part in paratriathlon in Pleasant Prairie

PLEASANT PRAIRIE -- Eighteen service members from the "Semper Fi Fund's Team Semper Fi Program" on Sunday, June 25th competed in the 2017 USA Paratriathlon National Championships at Prairie Springs Park in Pleasant Prairie -- in conjunction with the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon. It was an effort to help them recover through sport.

Athletes competed in a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and five-kilometer run.

According to organizers, the paratriathlon "is currently the fastest-growing disabled sport and offers unique benefits to recovering service members."

“The sport of triathlon helps a disabled service member achieve something that very few, if any, other sports can do” a TSF sports manager said in a statement to FOX6 News. “It allows them to understand that they don’t have to be single-sport athletes, encourages pride, mental focus, and goal setting. The ability to 'conquer' one task — let alone three different ones in a single day — is a good confidence boost and helps tremendously with overall mental and physical health.”

Organizers said "recovery through sport" has proven to be an ideal outlet for injured service members to hone both physical agility and mental focus, skills that are critical to navigating their recovery. Learning and practicing alongside fellow wounded service members, they can also trade stories, share strategies for coping with their injuries, and forge lasting friendships.

The Semper Fi Fund provides urgently needed resources and lifetime support for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.

Team Semper Fi  is an extension of the assistance provide by the Semper Fi Fund. Teams are made up of servicemen and women who have overcome significant challenges in their service to our country and have embraced the fighting, athletic spirit on their road to recovery.

FOX6's Evan Peterson was out at Prairie Springs Park during FOX6 WakeUp News on Sunday morning, talking with participants.