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Wounded Warriors, Paralympians mark ECU’s Adapted Sports Day

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Nov. 12, 2008)   —   The theme for this year’s 12th Annual Adapted Sports Day at East Carolina University – "Stars, Stripes, and Reaching New Heights" – honors ECU’s ties to both the Wounded Warrior program and to the 2008 Olympics/Paralympics.

In addition to activities that range from wheelchair sports to rock climbing, the Nov. 22 event at ECU’s Student Recreation Center will feature keynote speaker Ed Salau.

Salau, of Winterville, is an 11-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, who lost his leg in combat to a rocket-propelled grenade. This decorated veteran of both the Marines and the Army National Guard is a certified adapted ski instructor, has climbed Mount Ranier, and has hand cycled and run in marathons and other distance competitions. He now works as the Veterans Service Organizations and Charitable Organizations Liaison at Camp Lejeune’s Wounded Warrior Battalion and will talk to participants at 11:15 a.m.

Paralympians Elexis Gillette and Heather Erickson will also speak at 12:15 p.m. about competitive athletics and their recent experience at the 2008 Games in Beijing. Gillette, an ECU graduate, is a two-time medal recipient for track and field.

"This year's Adapted Sports Day is a celebration of our patriotism, the wounded warriors that have fought for our country, and the variety of possibilities that are available through adapted sport for everyone to stay active regardless of obstacles that may be present,” said David Gaskins, associate director for programs at ECU Campus Recreation and Wellness.

The event, he said, is open to individuals of all ages, with or without disabilities. Other activities include: wheelchair volleyball, slalom course, bowling and billiards, tai chi, hand cycling, racquetball, wheelchair rugby, shuffleboard, quad rugby, power/wheelchair hockey, inner tube water polo and bocce´.

A $5.00 registration fee covers breakfast, lunch, the keynote presentation, all instructional sessions, entry into facilities, and parking. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Activities will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center. For a full schedule of events, visit:

Salau will also speak to students and faculty in the College of Health and Human Performance Friday, Nov. 21, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in 1503 Carol Belk Building on Charles Boulevard.

This event is sponsored by ECU’s Department of Campus Recreation and Wellness Adapted Recreation program, the College of Health and Human Performance, Pitt County Community Schools & Recreation, and the local community’s Support Team for Active Recreation.


Contact: David Gaskins | (252) 328-6387