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Why competing in Virginia fishing tournament 'means a lot' for these paralyzed veterans

'They get us out of the house. And that's really important because being stuck in the house is just no fun'
Old Dominion Brawl Bass Fishing Tournament
Posted at 11:31 AM, Jun 16, 2024

Watch the full report from WTVR CBS 6 Photojournalist Will Hicks in the video player above.

HOPEWELL Va. -- The Old Dominion Brawl Bass Fishing Tournament took place Saturday along the James River at the Hopewell Marina.

The annual event hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America drew attendees not only from Virginia and North Carolina but from as far as Indiana, according to organizers.

"It means a lot to them, just getting out and doing things," Jimmy May, the Chester-based chapter's president, said.

Old Dominion Brawl Bass Fishing Tournament  Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America

New members are always welcome, Johnny Holland, the group's sports director, said.

"We love to get new members to bring veterans out because a lot of people don't think I can bowl no more," Holland said. "I can't play basketball, I can't play softball, golf or whatever. But we have everything that an able-bodied person can do."

Holland said the veterans take part in a number of athletics.

"Basketball, bowling, table tennis... [and] the National Veterans Wheelchair Games," Holland said.

WATCH: Why bringing veterans out is so important for Paralyzed Veterans of America

Paralyzed veterans group hosts bass fishing tournament

But getting together with other veterans is the real treat, Holland said.

"The breeze, the peacefulness, the camaraderie with my fellow brothers and sisters," Holland explained. "It's just relaxing."

But one Air Force veteran was hoping to bring home the grand prize again.

"I need to get me a fish because last year I got first place and got $1,000 bucks," Coreen Broomfield. "But I didn't care about the money. They gave me this beautiful trophy."

Old Dominion Brawl Bass Fishing Tournament  Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America

Broomfield thanked the "wonderful" volunteers who "help us bait and cast."

"They get us out of the house," she said. "And that's really important because being stuck in the house is just no fun."

May also thanked the community partners who made the event possible.

This year the group was named the organization's most outstanding chapter.

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