Two Disabled Veteran Water Ski Athletes Awarded Equipment Grant
by USA Water Ski & Wake Sports
USA Water Ski & Wake Sports is pleased to announce the first two recipients of its 2022 Disabled Veteran Athlete Equipment Grant. Disabled veteran water ski athletes Marco Bungert (Huntersville, N.C.) and Charles Wesson (Charlotte, N.C.) are each being awarded $9,500 worth of 3-event competition adaptive water-ski equipment to further enable them to participate at a competitive level in water ski events.
“Once I found water skiing, there was no turning back,” said Wesson, T10 Paraplegic and member of the Adaptive Sports and Adventures Program (ASAP) Ski Team. “I have found freedom and peace of mind while skiing.”
Wesson was injured in 2012 and was medically retired after 15 years of service in the United States Army.
“This grant will allow me to update my equipment and give me a new opportunity to compete,” said Bungert, a T6 Paraplegic Army Veteran and a member of the ASAP Ski Team. Bungert was injured in an automobile accident in 1993.
Bungert and Wesson both competed on the USA Adaptive Water Ski Team at the 2019 IWWF World Disabled Waterski Championships in Skarnes, Norway, where Team USA brought home the gold medal.
As a part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sports Grant, USA Water Ski & Wake Sports will be awarding a minimum of 10 veteran adaptive water ski athletes funding to purchase relevant 3-event competition adaptive water-ski equipment up to a $9,500 value for participation. The goal of the grant is to remove some of the obstacles that prevent veteran athletes with disabilities from experiencing water skiing as a recreational and competitive activity.
*The 2022 Disabled Veteran Athlete Equipment Grant is funded by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.