SANDS is an organization that many people have not heard of but it is a grassroots program offered through your state’s Game and Parks Commission. The Sportsmen Assisting the Nation’s Disabled Sportsmen was created to help individuals with disabilities to be able to get outside and enjoy the sports they love.

The program helps men, women and children by giving them opportunities to get involved in hunting, fishing, camping, boating or astronomy. The benefits of getting out in the wide open spaces and enjoying a beautiful day with friends are so amazing that a group of sportsmen got together to form SANDS. Their goal is to ensure that all Americans can enjoy a recreational day of hunting, fishing or boating regardless of their physical disabilities.

Every year SANDS works to connect sportsmen with the disabled who wish to get out and go fishing, boating etc. The program simply facilitates that connection between those who are planning an upcoming boating, hunting, camping, astronomy or fishing trip with a disabled individual who would enjoy an exciting day in the great outdoors.

The program is funded by your state, along with hunters and fishermen who believe that everyone should have the opportunity to participate in the sports they love. It’s open even to younger people and is completely voluntary. No one tells you when or where to go. It’s up to the individuals themselves to plan an event and make all the arrangements. It offers those who love sports and can spend some time mentoring a younger or less experienced disabled person a rich opportunity. Mentors who volunteer often say they are the ones who truly benefited by the activity and that the idea of turning someone’s dream into a reality is amazing.

Besides planning the event, hosts may also need to provide minimal support for the disabled individual such as carrying their equipment or helping out if a wheelchair gets stuck in a rut or hole. It can be an unforgettable day of fun for everyone and such a morality boost for those who must live with a disability.

SANDS is affiliated with many state wildlife, game and parks departments as well as sports clubs. The program has a web site where you can go and read up or sign up for an upcoming event. The website also provides education on fishing, hunting, boating and other outdoor sports.

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