Sledge hockey makes Smiths Falls debut

The Smiths Falls Minor Hockey Association Atom B Bears
The Smiths Falls Minor Hockey Association Atom B Bears, a group of players aged 10 and 11, took on the Sledge Hawks of the Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario league in a fun scrimmage Feb. 29. Photo credit: Chris Must
Posted on: March 2, 2020

Anyone who has witnessed Paralympians in action develops a healthy level of respect for these dedicated athletes and the challenges they overcome.

A key Winter Paralympics sport, sledge hockey, came to Smiths Falls Saturday, Feb. 29 as the Ottawa-based Sledge Hawks took on the Atom B Bears in a demonstration scrimmage. A group of younger local players also had the opportunity to give the sport a try later in the afternoon.

“We’re going to try to involve as many people as possible,” said Drew Leger, a volunteer director with the Smiths Falls Minor Hockey Association.

Leger said the event was organized after the SFMHA received an email from Amanda Harris, a former Smiths Falls resident. Harris, who is the Sledge Development Program Coordinator for Sledge Hockey of Eastern Ontario (SHEO), was looking for an opportunity to bring the sport to Smiths Falls. The Ottawa Sledge Hawks are the league’s development team.

“They were looking to involve their team in some different things, because there aren’t a lot of opportunities,” said Leger.

The board of directors of the SFMHA agreed to host the sledge hockey event, and to donate the necessary ice time at the Smiths Falls community centre.

Part of SHEO’s mission is to introduce the sport to as many people as possible. Sledge hockey gives disabled and able-bodied athletes the ability to compete side by side.

Following the rules of traditional hockey, sledge hockey players compete sitting on a tubular frame with a pair of metal runners on the underside. A pair of sticks is used both to propel the sledge and to shoot the puck.

Special guests at the Feb. 29 event included Paralympian Tyrone Henry. Henry’s sledge hockey team won gold for Canada in 2015 and silver at the 2018 Winter Paralympics in South Korea.

Article by Chris Must

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News