A very successful partnership over the last nine years and one we would like to highlight has been the pairing with Arcade Belt and, most notably, the collaborative program called The Arcade Belt Goal Program.
If you have yet to see a blog post about the program or set a Belt Goal as an Athlete, this basis is simple, each time an Athlete is awarded a grant, they are asked to set a goal for themselves. We ask them to pick a challenging yet doable and quantifiable goal and then choose a due date that they would like to have the goal completed. We also encourage them to set a goal related to the grant they received. For example, if they were awarded funding for a sit ski, a possible goal could be to return to skiing with friends and family.
In 2014 when this program was initially established, the idea was that it would be like taekwondo, where once the Athlete got a grant, they would set 5 goals that would take multiple years to complete. Each time they completed a goal, they would get a belt (see the taekwondo reference?). We had 20 individual athletes who were able to complete all 5 of their belt goals before we changed the program in 2019.
Athletes who completed all five original goals
Jeff Andrews, Jim Harris, Brandon Pitzer, Tony Schmiesing, Cody Walker, Kailyn Forsberg, Mike Schwarz, Lyndsay Slocumb, Adam Lavender, Georgiana Burnside, Danielle Shannon, Steven Jacobo, Craig DeMartino, Tim Burr, Joanna Adams, Shay Hampton, Meredith E. Koch, Jamie Crane-Mauzy, Landon McGauley, Nate White.
After 2019 we reevaluated the program and decided that it would be best if, going forward, we went with a more involved approach. We thought that if we asked the Athletes for one goal for each grant that received, we could help and support their goal, and they challenge themselves to set goals that were directly related to what they had received from our grant.
Highlighted (Completed) Athlete Goals
Dan Soller – Go for a solo bike ride again
Tyler Mckenzie – Run 5 miles
Connor Smith – Walk without crutches
Andrew Bernstein – Climb one of Colorado’s 13ers
Chris Barkley – Get accepted into a graduate program
Trevor Coey – To get carded (qualified) to compete as a next gen athlete for international rowing competition
Patrick Brown – Become an adaptive PSIA a certified instructor.
Jonah Karpman – Learn to drive.
Alina Petrik – To paraglide.
Chris Bruha – Get back out on the ski hill
Heather Galeotalanza – Go for a bike ride with my mom
Belt Goal Program quick facts
Total Goals Completed: 598 Goals
Athletes competing goals: 258 Individual Athletes
International /World cup/ Olympic Result: 7 Athletes
- Casey Proud – Win the Prone Unassist ISA World Championship
- Claudio Morales – Podium World champion adaptive surf
- Andrew Mangan – Qualify for the 2022 Rowing World Championships
- Steven Jacobo – Place in the top 3 during one of the World Cup races.
- Katie Combaluzier – Top 5 finish at a world cup sit-ski event
- Mike Pingatore – Compete at Worlds for Adaptive Surfing Championship representing Team USA!
- Andrew Kurka – Completion of #1 sit ski world ranking
As you can tell, an unbelievable amount of work, blood, sweat, and tears have gone into completing these belt goals. We are so excited to see each and every High Fives Athletes put their mind and bodies into improving themselves and completing their goals.
Thank you to Arcade Belts for being such a great partner in the adaptive space.