Courtesy: Colorado Springs Sled Hockey Association
Sled hockey is an alternative sport that uses the rules of hockey. Sled hockey began in the early 1960's in Stockholm Sweden. It moved to the United States in 1989 and Colorado joined those ranks in 1995. Sled Hockey has been a Paralympic sport since 1994, with Team USA earning the Gold medal in 2002 and the Bronze medal in 2006.
Players use the same equipment as in "stand-up" hockey with the exception of the skates. Instead, they use a sled which consists of a cushioned seat mounted on a tubular sled that has skate blades and a center pivot underneath. The player sits four inches above the ice and is held into the sled with Velcro straps. Two shortened hockey sticks are used to handle the puck as well as propel the player across the ice. If a player is unable to move across the ice then a "pusher", someone to help with the movement of the sled, may be used for assistance.
The wonderful thing about sled hockey is that anyone can play. Legal body contact and raised puck shooting are as much a part of sled hockey as they are traditional hockey. Both males and females play this sport. It is a sport that totally integrates players with mobility limitations, amputees, and able-bodied people with knee, leg, or hip injuries, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, and spinal injuries that would limit their participation in standard hockey. Sled hockey is one of the many activities which can provide players the opportunity to improve endurance, coordination, strength, social skills and more. Whether at a competitive level or recreational level of play, sled hockey can aid in improving players attention span, self-confidence, and decision making skills. The players gain a sense of belonging and form lasting friendships with which they have something in common. It also teaches them to work with others in a team environment, which is a skill that will aid them throughout life in school, and work!
Competing in sled hockey can be expensive for families already dealing with the extra expense of having a disabled child.
If you are interested in donating time, money or used equipment to the organization, here is some contact information.
Teresa Lundquist - 719-382-5013