The New England Disabled Sports Hall of Fame Ceremony recently took place at New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain. The ceremony was especially significant due to the induction of Dr. Robert A. Harney to the National Disabled Ski Hall of Fame. Harney is the founding member of the organization and was bestowed the honor by the Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA, Kirk Bauer.
In addition to his work as a founding member of Disabled Sports USA, Dr. Harney is a successful Orthopedic Surgeon practicing throughout the greater Boston Area. Over the past 20 years, he has provided national leadership for New England Disabled Sports and has faithfully served on the Disabled Sports USA’s board. It is through his efforts that the organization has grown to become one of the premier disabled sports centers in the nation.
“Without Dr. Harney’s vision and determination, New England Disabled Sports would not exist,” stated current NEDS Chairman of the Board, Mike Drake. “Dr. Bob has led by example, and showed all of us that hard work and vision leads to great achievements.”
The initiative originally began in the winter of 1986/1987 with the goal of providing sport education. Over the years the program has grown to offer skiing, kayaking, waterskiing, camping, biathlon and a ton more activities year-round! A team of highly skilled volunteer-coaches leads the programs. During 2011 alone, over 3,000 lessons were provided to children and adults with various physical and developmental disabilities.
During his remarks at the Disabled Ski Hall of Fame Ceremony, Kirk Bauer stated, “Under Dr. Harney’s leadership, Disabled Sports USA has grown to over 100 chapters, offering over 40 sports to individuals with disabilities in the US.” Bauer also praised Dr. Harney’s business acumen, saying “Dr. Bob’s business skill has greatly assisted DSUSA weather substantial recent economic challenges, and today, our organization is strong, well funded, and able to assist our local Chapters.”
Dr. Harney’s dedication and hard work has radiated throughout the national and international sports communities. He has lent his highly respected voice to advocate fair and accurate Paralympic Classification. Being inducted to the Disabled Ski Hall of Fame is a fitting honor for Harney’s 20-year career. He has made a positive impact on a countless numbers of elite Paralympians, giving them a global outlet to shine!
On a national and international level, Dr. Harney’s hard work and respected voice has been a leading advocate in ensuring Paralympic Classification is fair and accurate. Over a 20-year period, Dr. Harney’s passion has helped countless numbers of elite Paralympians shine on a global scale.