Continued from Magazine Article…
Sled Hockey Clinic Photos by Jim D’Angelo/Ruby Media Group
Background of the group as told by Michael Hudson:
Currently we are 5 lower extremity amputees and 1 “able body” within our Clinic.
As for how it got started, I was a part of the New York Rangers Sled Hockey Team within the NESHL (North East Sled Hockey League) division. The NESHL has representing teams from NH, VT, MA, CT, NY, NJ and PA at the present time. Their website: www.neshl.org. I had been introduced into this wonderful adaptive sport through the Wheelchair Sports Federation, www.wheelchairsportsfederation.org. As I described earlier, I found my passion within Sled (sledge) Hockey. As our season was coming to an end, I thought there had to be another way to continue and not wait until October for the next season. The 6 of us were at Westchester Skating Academy Feb. 9, 2012 and we were approached by one of the Asst. GM about our own ice time. Three weeks later, March 5th was our debut.
We currently skate the Clinic on Mondays, but I meet a couple of the guys on Thursday mornings as well to practice with them. The same Asst. GM that I referenced above has spoken to me a couple of times about more ice time, we are not ready for that yet though.
The mission of the group is to raise awareness for the adaptive sports in general but more specifically, to recruit for next season with the NY Rangers Sled Hockey Team. Essentially what needs to be mentioned also is the bonuses the adaptive sports bring to physically limited people. The therapy we receive after every practice and training session is incredible!!
As far as funding, I haven’t an exact dollar value. The ice time is expensive for us limited budget guys to afford. I am only receiving pay from Worker’s Comp currently but I saw how happy the guys were and I took it upon myself to set it up and make it happen.
Ultimately, I would like to have enough funds available so we can run clinics each season along with possibly setting up a tournament in the Fall. The tournament would be a slight boost to the local economy also, hotels, restaurants, gas stations.
Here is a link with the whole story of Sled Hockey from its origin in the 60’s in Sweden to presently being an International Paralympic sport. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sledge_hockey
Photos from far right to far left-
Michael Hudson (C) – left, below knee amputee; 2.5 years ago. http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-08-24/local/17932846_1_construction-site-road-worker-keller-s-mother
Ron Rogell (A) – an able body that fell in love with the sport and enjoys assisting physically limited people
David Streich – right, above knee; 4 months ago due to cancer
Rocco Greco – left, above knee; within the past 6 months due to cancer
Mario Maisonet – right, above knee; 2 years ago due to infection from a spider bite
Dexter Benjamin – right, above knee; 27 years ago, hit in traffic saving the life of a young boy