To further its critical mission of providing the opportunity for disabled veterans and individuals born with disabilities to participate in the adaptive sport of sled hockey, The Sled Hockey Foundation (SHF) is always looking for opportunities to increase community awareness of this amazing sport and its athletes.
To that end, a first of its kind event in Buffalo, NY was held on Friday, July 15, 2016 at the HarborCenter. The “Just Try It” event, conceived by The SHF’s Event Planning Committee, was a tremendously fun and successful evening aimed at drawing attention to sled hockey, some of the stars of the sport, and the ongoing work of The Foundation.
While members of the U. S. National Sled Hockey Team – arguably the world’s best sled hockey players – were in town for national try-outs, it was the perfect opportunity to expose community members interested in the sport to the talent of these athletes as well as the challenges of the sport.
Nearly 30 attendees had the chance to get on the ice in sleds and skate with Brad Emmerson, Dan McCoy, and Maddie Eberhard – national-level sled hockey stars! They also toured some of the HarborCenter – one of the nine sled accessible rinks in the Western New York area, viewed the U. S. gold medals from the 2010 Vancouver and 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, and enjoyed some refreshments and social time.
The SHF’s Board of Directors are sincerely grateful to the National Team athletes who took the time to come out and skate with community and Board members. Special thanks are also extended to the Page family – Norm, Sandi and Adam (two-time Gold Medal winning sled hockey Paralympian) - for providing the sled hockey gear and to GCW Capital for ensuring that participants enjoyed great food and drink during the event!
Steve Wischmann, The SHF’s Executive Director, stated that, “The Sled Hockey Foundation endeavors to change disabled athletes’ lives by providing them the opportunity to grow, compete, and achieve through the great sport of hockey.” He added, “We believe that anything is possible for people who see and seize opportunity knowing that the size of their heart will overcome the size of their challenges.”
The SHF plans to raise awareness of this amazing sport and the resources to grow its availability to disabled athletes throughout western New York who wish to pursue their dreams of playing sled hockey.