Sledge Hockey

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Events:

3rd Annual Marathon Quest 250 Run / Walk

  • Monday December 31st 2012

  • 9.00pm to 3.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

Hockey Quest 500 (Quest #6)

  • Saturday January 19th 2013

  • 8.00am to 5.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

Hockey's a funny old game. I picked up my first hockey stick at the age of 22. I was living in Kimberley BC and was invited to join the Men's Recreational league. The only problem was I had never skated before. Well that's not quite true, when I was 16, I rented a pair of skates at the Bristol Ice Place, in the UK and spent 30 minutes walking around the side of the arena, clutching the railing. Anyway, back to Kimberley and not to be put off by the minor detail of not skating, I purchased some second-hand gear at an equipment swap and headed out into the unknown. The players were very kind to me although the first season I spent more time on my butt than on the skates. I also had permanently bruised elbows and hips but I persevered.

My hockey career took me from Kimberley to Yellowknife where I played for the "Dusters", a team of teachers and friends. My game slowly improved and I found that my five-a side soccer experience helped with my positional play. My final years of recreational hockey were played in Sudbury, Ontario where every Sunday night a group of us would get together for the "Black Knights vs. White Knights". I thought my career was over until 2010 when I got a call from the "Rotary Relics" and had my first experience of the Kimmett Cup pond hockey tournament..

Last Saturday, Sue and I experience another form of the game. We went to the Winsport Ice Complex at COP to watch the World Sledge Hockey Challenge gold medal game between Canada and USA. It was a close fought contest, the US coming out on top 1-0. The effort these players put in is incredible and they are a true inspiration to all the children who were watching and cheering them on. I must say I was disappointed at the size of the crowd. As a hockey-loving nation, the arena should have been packed. Bearing in mind there are currently no NHL game being played, it provided a unique opportunity for people to watch some amazing hockey and support the national team.

Afterwards we went down to see the team. I chatted with Billy Bridges, one of the Canadian players. Billy is a Right To Play Athlete Ambassador and he is a firm believer in sport for all. He went around chatting with kids, signing autographs and having photos taken with supporters.

So, now I'll be back on my skates again, getting ready for the Kimmett Cup and Hockey Quest 500 on January 19th 2013. All the team places are filled for the pond hockey tournament but we are still looking for individuals to play in the Guinness World Record attempt for the most players in an exhibition game. For more information go to . Let's do this for the love of the game and helping others. Hockey's a funny old game.

Quote of the Day

"Begin at the beginning and go on until you come to the end then stop"

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Billy Bridges, Team Canada, battles for the puck during the World Sledge Hockey Championship gold medal game.

Sledge Hockey

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