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Golf course turns to fun winter sports for veterans, people with disabilities

February 19, 2017 06:35 PM

ALBANY - Veterans and people with disabilities had a chance to spend some time outdoors this weekend enjoying some winter sports. The Capital Region Nordic Alliance teamed up with Capital Hills in Albany to make it happen.

Capital Hills is more than just a golf course.

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"Since I've been here, we've been increasing the amount of things we do for the community," noted Scott Gallup, the Capital Hills superintendent.

It also comes alive in the winter as a sledding destination. However, the facility also plays host to other winter sports lovers, increasing its offerings to veterans and young people with disabilities.

"That's our goal is to make this place better and usable by more people," noted Gallup.

That's where Russ Myer and his organization, Capital Region Nordic Alliance, comes into play.

"Being a U.S. Paralympic club and receiving so much support from the Veterans Adaptive Sports Program and the Department of Veterans Affairs, we really focus on veterans and youth with disabilities," explained Myer.

They provide year-round experiences in Nordic sports like cross-country skiing, biathlon, orienteering and snowshoeing.

It takes a lot of staffing and special equipment to run the program, like specially outfitted skis with a seat for paraplegic athletes, snowshoes made in Vermont. In addition, there's grooming equipment to create tracks about seven miles long, paid for in part by money raised from the city of Albany.

"So partnering with the city, partnering with Team Red White and Blue that brings so many resources to support these veterans in their assimilation into the community after their service and their traumas, it just something that we derive great personal and community reward from," beamed Myer.

"It makes you happy that you have the ability to maintain a facility that keeps a lot of people from a lot of different walks of life happy," echoed Gallup.

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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