This evening is a special opportunity for adaptive athletes (12 and older) and their parents to expand their network, acquire mentors and advisors, and get resources and support to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Parents of younger children are welcome to attend. There will be activities for younger children (with a parent or guardian) nearby the conference room.
This high-impact evening will consist of four tracks, Health & Wellness, Education, Employment, and Life Skills. 25+ thought leaders, corporate and government executives, and high-performance coaches will be brought together to provide athletes with intimate coaching and guidance on a wide variety of topics.
When: Thursday, June 20, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Where: Ackerman Grand Ballroom at UCLA
Please contact Administrative and Outreach Coordinator, Stacy Schlesinger at with additional questions.
Keynote Speaker: PAUL de GELDER
IMPROVISE. ADAPT. OVERCOME.
These three words - a mantra Paul learned in the Australian Army as a young Paratrooper – resonated with him the first time he heard them. Paul chased adventure wherever he could find it, from his wild ride as a hoodlum teen and his drug-and-alcohol fuelled stint working in a strip club to hauling his way up to the elite echelons of the defence forces as an Army Paratrooper and then Navy Clearance Diver.
But trouble hunted him down in the form of a brutal shark in February 2009. Paul lost two limbs, and his career as a daredevil Diver was flung into jeopardy. Drawing on everything his eventful life had taught him, Paul left nothing to chance in his recovery. He fought through excruciating pain, smashing challenge after challenge, and amazing the medical staff with his will to succeed. His inspiring story takes ‘never say die’ to a whole new level.
In the seven years since the shark attack, Paul's life has changed in every aspect. Having left full time Navy Service in August 2012, after continuing to instruct Navy Divers for a further 3.5 years, Paul has traveled the world as a top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids. Paul has spoken at venues all around the world, from the United Nations in New York and the US Navy in San Diego to Anzac Day Military celebrations in front of thousands, to keynotes for multimillion dollar corporations and charity organizations around Australia.
He has also been a guest on every major Australian TV talk show and many in the U.S. He starred as a guest trainer on the Biggest Loser Australia, and has co-hosted 3 documentaries for Discovery Channel's 2014, 2015 & 2016 Shark Week.