A parental quest to find recreational opportunities for their son has resulted in an opportunity for the community to discover sledge hockey.
John Hore, 8, was given a sledge and he tried cruising around during a stick and puck session last spring. At that point he knew he wanted to play more.
“With his disability he powers out and he doesn’t have enough balance to play normal hockey. He tried out that sledge and loved it,” said John’s dad, Jay.
“He grew up watching his siblings play hockey and ringette, and I’ve coached them, so now it’s his turn and this seemed like a good fit.”
Hore obtained a $9,000 grant from Alberta Wheelchair Sports to buy more equipment, including sleds, to make the sport attainable for others in the community – either disabled or able bodied – looking to try it out.
Hore has organized 14 ice times on Sundays from 3:30 – 4:30 pm through the winter. The first date is Oct. 13 and also runs on Oct. 20 and 27 this month.
“It’s for any age … likely six and up so that they can fit the sledges,” said Jay.
“We are going to keep it chill for our ice times. We just want to get people on the ice, teach them how to use the sledges and maybe do some drills. Ideally, we’d like to have enough people to have a scrimmage at some point, but we’ll see. Who knows where it’s going to go.”
Hore was looking to complete a coaching certification to help the sport’s development in Hinton. He said if the sport progresses this winter and there is interest then maybe there is a chance to put together a team and play a tournament next year.
For John, it’s still the little things that are making him happy with the sport.
“I like doing the spins,” he said, talking about the maneuver he has been working on a lot lately.
Other ice times include Nov. 10, 17 and 24, Dec. 1, Jan. 12 and 26, Feb. 16 and March 1, 8, 15 and 22.
There is a registration fee required. For more information please contact Jay Hore through the Hinton Sledge Hockey page on Facebook.