Mini Marine Corps Trials Clinic helps recovering service members compete in adaptive sports.

Marines and veterans from Wounded Warrior Battalion – East (WWBn-E) and its detachments participated in a Mini Marine Corps Trials Clinic on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Dec. 9-13. The purpose of the clinic put on by the battalion’s Warrior Athlete Reconditioning Program was to get the service members more involved in adaptive sports by preparing them for the 10th annual Marine Corps Trials at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, March 4-11.

“It’s been an opportunity for (service members) to learn new activities, figure out what they are interested in, get instruction from the coaches and, if it’s a team sport, see who is potentially going to be on their team and work with them,” said Liz Moseley, sports specialist with WWBn-E.

The Marine Corps Trials is a 12-sport event for wounded, ill or injured Marines to compete and train together to promote recovery. Those who compete in the Marine Corps Trials have a shot at being selected to Team Marine Corps for the 2020 Department of Defense Warrior Games, multinational adaptive sports competition.

Michael Barefoot, a retired Marine and past Warrior Games participant, has seen firsthand the impact adaptive sports can have.

“I think more people need to come to this, and even watch it just to watch, and come with an open mind,” Barefoot said. “I was very closed-minded until I saw it, and then I realized all walks of life are doing this, and it’s all around the world. The average American probably doesn’t see it.”

Barefoot’s big takeaway from adaptive sports, he said, is the gratitude of the people around him.

In the mini trials, service members were acclimated to sports included in the Warrior Games, such as wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, rowing, cycling, swimming, shooting, archery, powerlifting and track.

The 2020 Warrior Games will be hosted by the Marine Corps in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 21-28.