Challenged Athletes Foundation

Challenged Athletes Foundation

Challenged Athletes Foundation

The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit headquartered in San Diego that uses sports to provide hope, empowerment, and independence to those with permanent physical disabilities. CAF was founded 23 years ago to help one friend, former Yale football star Jim McLaren who lost his leg after being hit by a bus in New York City. He remade himself through sports as a record-breaking endurance athlete. Even before a second tragic accident that left Jim a quadriplegic, Jim had already inspired a new generation of challenged athletes, who with CAF's support would be on the front lines of a revolution to redefine perception and possibility for those with physical challenges. 

How the USA Triathlon Foundation supported CAF: 


The Challenged Athletes Foundation has put on internationally recognized Paratriathlon Camps since the first ever in 2010 that was sanctioned by both USAT and ITU. Since then, with the support and funding from USAT, CAF has put on two high-quality and professional camps each year; one is located on the East Coast in Pensacola, FL and the other at CAF Headquarters in San Diego, CA. Camps are now “Official Technical Training Camp of USA Paratriathlon”. Additionally, both camps offer triathlon coaches who want to learn more about Paratriathlon the opportunity to come assist and earn 10 CEUs for their USAT coach’s recertification. 

 Led by Paratriathlon National Coaches with elite Mentors, each camp has a technical day that involves swim video analysis, bike fitting and run gate analysis, and a training day that includes open water swimming, cycling, track session and transitions. Both camps finish with practice races, and the entire weekend is filled with presentations on the state of Paratriathlon, nutrition, and training philosophy. The camps are 100% free to paratriathletes attending and include lodging, transportation and food. 

CAF Paratriathlon camps have supported and benefitted many National and World Champions in all distances. A list of notable alumni include: Mark Barr, Jamie Brown, Melissa Stockwell, Travis Ricks, Hailey Denisewicz, Alyssa Seeley, and Beth Price. Each camp accepts up to 15 athletes and has two USAT Level II National Paratriathlon Coaches and up to three peer mentors. 

CAF also held the first ever youth Paratriathlon camp in 2015, which offered 15 adaptive athletes from ages 12 to 17 the same education, coaching, and training as our adult camps while creating a fun and social environment where they could build relationships with their peers.