What began as three friends’ kindness and compassion to help one athlete paralyzed in triathlon has now grown into a powerful current that has carried and supported those with physical challenges – empowering them to find community, confidence, and conviction.
In 1994, an effort to help one man launched a global change in the way athletes with physical challenges are perceived and perceive themselves. Jim MacLaren was an exceptional athlete, first as an amputee and then as a quadriplegic. After losing his leg in a motorcycle accident, Jim became a pioneer, achieving feats that others never thought possible for amputees. Jim may no longer be with us, but his legacy lives on through Team CAF.
Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is the answer to many prayers. It provides opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue an active lifestyle through physical activity and competitive athletics. In 2017, CAF distributed 2,448 grants across 43 countries; the youngest granteewas 5 years old, and the oldest was 83. The CAF vision is to:
- Be a recognized leader in a movement through which physically challenged athletes are accepted and respected at the same level as able-bodied athletes
- Have a great and significant impact on each physically challenged athlete served
- Reach out to the physically challenged community by providing inspiration, awareness and mentoring