Nat'l Sports Center for the Disabled offers free clinic to veterans

Doing something they're not used to doing is the point of all this - and it's meant to help.

CENTENNIAL - For Cel Gonzalez, doing something she never does is exactly the reason she came out to the Family Sports Center in Centennial Friday morning.

"When I heard they were having this again, I'm like I'm gonna go," Gonzalez said.

She is learning to play sled hockey thanks to a clinic put on by the National Sports Center for the Disabled.

"Whether it's a mental health issue, a physical disability, whether they're recovering from post-traumatic stress syndrome or a brain injury, sports and recreation -- we know based on research -- is an amazing way to heal and grow," Kim Easton, president and CEO of NSCD, said.

Gonzalez served in the Air Force for 10 years before she started having medical problems.

"I did a couple of deployments, one in Saudi Arabia and the other one in Qatar," Gonzalez said.

She said events like this clinic help.

"I don't know, it gives me a sense of purpose and I love doing outdoor stuff," Gonzalez said.

Easton said it helps veterans to get out and involved in a social event, as well.

"It's as much about getting together with other individuals and other veterans who are going through the same thing and knowing they're not alone," Easton said.

NSCD received a $20,000 grant from AT&T to put on the clinic with help from the Warrior Avs Sled Hockey Team and the Denver Curling Club.

Gonzalez said events like this are great for veterans.

"It just gives them another outlet to relieve stress," Gonzalez said. "It gets them back into the community."

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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