Switzerland,Training Camps, Rugby Chair

I am an eager 21 year old athlete with a Spinal Cord Injury who has lots of young energy and a big (but attainable) dream. Until recently, I played wheelchair basketball for the University of Illinois. I have found a moderate level of success during the 12 years I've spent playing wheelchair basketball. I have also learned much about how to be a team-player while developing a considerable level of mental toughness. I, however, have come to realize that I have considerably greater potential within the world of wheelchair rugby, given that I am a quadriplegic. I have played wheelchair rugby for just over a year (with the St Louis Rams and Lakeshore Demolition) and I have accomplished what some just hope to accomplish during an entire career of wheelchair rugby. In fact, I have been invited to train with the USA team on two separate occasions for what were a cumulative 20 days of intense wheelchair rugby training. From that I was invited to try-out for the USQRA - Team Force (developmental rugby team - just one step from team USA) during the OCT 23-26 Selection Camp. I made the final cut at tryouts and I am an official Team Force player. My ultimate goal is to make the USA team in the upcoming November tryout. At the last USA tryout camp, I was told that I lack only court-experience and time to be able to take that next step and fulfill my dream of becoming a Paralympic athlete. Team Force, however has many goals of its own, the biggest of which is to take home the gold medal at a tournament against several other countries, in Switzerland. However there is one major setback for participation on this team, in that it is a pay-to-play team. It is incumbent upon every athlete to come up with the money to travel to Switzerland as well as participate in the numerous training camps throughout the year. It is my goal, through fund raising, to not only get enough money to go to Switzerland but to help offset the expense of training camps as well as supplement a grant I received from Challenged Athletes Foundation for a rugby chair. The rugby chair I currently use is a loaner chair that has not been built to fit my build. With the help of friends, family and people I may not even know, I believe Team Force will not only get to go to Switzerland as a united team but also bring back Gold for USA. I would like to thank anyone in advance who takes the time to read this and offer words of support. I would especially like to thank those who take it upon themselves financially to help me obtain my GOALS and DREAMS to earn a spot on the Paralympic team at the upcoming tryouts in November of 2014. Sincerely, Clayton Brackett

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Clayton Brackett 
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