Jordan Banman and Spencer Lambert represented Manitoba as our up-and-coming athletes by attending the Hockey Canada Regional Skills Camp in Calgary, AB. From October 14-16, the athletes worked on on-ice and off-ice skills to assist them in furthering their development in sledge hockey. Banman and Lambert are two of Manitoba's top youth athletes, with Lambert receiving an invite from Hockey Canada previously for a development team camp and competition against their American counterparts.
These were the first series of regional camps to be hosted by Hockey Canada, with two others occurring in Toronto and Montreal.
Please visit the Schedule page for the 2016-17 Intermediate and Advanced schedules. The novice schedule will be posted shortly.
CBC News - 'How Canadian is that?' Syrian Refugee learns to play sledge hockey
The first annual SMD Summer Sledge Hockey Camp came to a end on August 26th with a new member ready to play in the fall. The summer camp focused on physical literacy and sledge hockey, while partnering with other sports, to provide the sledge hockey athletes with a week-long intensive camp. In total, 29 participants participated in the inaugural camp.
Of course, you didn't need to be an experienced player to participate. Omar Al Ziab, 15, tried the sport of sledge hockey for the first time at the camp. Omar proved to be a natural athlete, reducing his lap time from 39 seconds to 22 seconds after a week of training. Omar will be joining our league for the 2016-17 season at the MTS Iceplex.
For more, please visit the CBC article linked at the top.
March was a busy month for sledge hockey athletes as they competed in three tournaments in Fargo, ND, Minneapolis, MN and Calgary, AB. First, the Manitoba Sledgehammers made their annual trip down to Fargo, ND, winning bronze! This young team, led by Coach Gavin, battled hard and represented Manitoba well!
Next, the Manitoba Battling Bisons and Winnipeg Jets made their annual trip for their series in Minneapolis, MN. Both teams saw an increase in competition this year facing teams from the Great Lakes Area and Florida.
One week later, the Winnipeg Jets made their (re-branded) return to Calgary. After a 3-1 loss in Game 1, the Jets rebounded with a 3-2 win in the second game and a 8-0 win in the third game. They battled hard and won the gold medal match against the EASA Storm 2 -1, winning the Western Canadian Sledge Hockey Championships. The last time Manitoba won the championship was in 2010 when the team was the Manitoba Moose.
Congratulations to all athletes this season, and we look forward to seeing you next year!
SMD Services is hosting their first summer sledge hockey camp to be held from August 22-26th at the St. James Civic Centre. This camp will focus on hockey skills while exposing participants to other activities. This camp will be open to all abilities and skill levels.
August 22 - 26, 2016
St James Civic Centre, 2055 Ness Avenue
To register: Email Bill Muloin at BMuloin@smd.mb.ca
Deadline: May 31, 2016
**Note: If payment arrangements need to be made, please contact Bill in advance.
All across Canada, people got active in sport as part of the RBC Sports Day in Canada event. Sledge hockey, the Paralympic version of Canada's national past time, was on display at the MTS Iceplex. After a practice with the youth, participants were invited to come onto the ice and try hockey at our level.
"It's a worldwide Paralympic Sport" said Gavin Rich to CTV News. "It's pretty much the same rules as regular hockey, just that you've got two sticks, instead of one stick"
Sledge hockey has seen rapid growth in Manitoba since its inception in 2007. Starting off with six athletes and grant ice out of the MTS Centre, participation has grown to over 70 athletes divided into three age and skill specific programs.
"To see the growth from day one, from where we were using really old equipment, to how vibrant our community is now; there is no comparison", said Samuel Unrau, Treasurer of the SHM Advisory Committee. "Most Canadians have a connection with the sport of hockey one way or another, and the sport of sledge hockey allows for another connection to a sport that is essential to the Canadian identity."
Sledge hockey programming is ongoing at the MTS Iceplex, 3969 Portage Avenue. To find out when a division is hitting the ice, visit the schedule tab above. We welcome all spectators and those who are interest in trying out our sport.
CTV Winnipeg News Story, November 21, 2015