Hockey Canada Network |
News
Canada Plans to Take Sledge Hockey to a New Level
Paralympic News Service
|
PARA.006.06
|
March 17, 2006
|
|

Turin, March 17 – Hockey Canada has started working on plans to grow sledge hockey so that public awareness of the sport will be at an all-time high when the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games are held in Canada.

Bob Nicholson, president of the grassroots organisation, says the current state of sledge hockey is similar to where the international women’s game was in 1990 when the first World Championship was held in Ottawa. The women’s world tournament has since been transformed into a massive success when it is held in Canada.

“The love Canadians have for hockey is special and once they get to know this game, they will love it. But we have to help them to get to know it and we will.”

“This is really no different than 1990 when we had the first women’s tournament,” says Nicholson, who is attending the Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games.

One of the things Nicholson wants to do is have a series of exhibition games in major Canadian cities involving team from Canada, Norway, the United States, Germany and Sweden every year leading up to the 2010 Paralympics in Whistler, British Columbia.

In the east coast city of Halifax, for example, fans of the major junior team, the Mooseheads, buy season tickets to the team’s games. Nicholson’s hope is to include sledge hockey in the season-ticket packages where major junior hockey is played.

Hockey Canada would also lean on its television partners to carry games live on Canadian television.

Nicholson has been busy during the Torino Paralympic Games, gauging interest in his plans, and he says there is an interest to build the popularity of sledge hockey, which in turn would make more athletes with disabilities aware of it.

“The two (semi-final) games I saw yesterday were awesome and we need to be able to make Canadians aware of this sport,” he said. “We have to find ways to grow the sport.”

Nicholson said he has had discussions with the company designing the arena in Whistler, to ensure that it is Paralympic-athlete friendly. As an example, he said that the floor on the players’ bench could be ice rather than the plastic that is used at Torino Esposizioni. Ice would make it easier for the players to glide their sleds onto the field of play.

Hockey Canada has a proven track record when it comes to taking events like the Women’s World Championship and the World Junior Championship to another level. The 2006 World Juniors in Vancouver set attendance records and generated about $10 million in profit for Hockey Canada.

Nicholson says sledge hockey athletes deserve the same treatment as their able-bodied counterparts.

“They are part of the (Hockey Canada) family and the athletes deserve every ounce of our commitment to them,” he says.

Canada’s Paralympic team falls under Hockey Canada’s jurisdiction and Nicholson hopes other countries step up and have their sledge hockey players become part of their national governing hockey bodies.


For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada
403-777-4553
jlarose@hockeycanada.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
klipscombe@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

facebook.com/hockeycanada

twitter.com/hockeycanada

youtube.com/hockeycanadavideos

Videos
Photos
2014 WU18C: CAN 5 - GER 2
Apr 19, 2014
Ryan Gropp scored with 5:36 to go to help Canada to its second win.
2014 WU18C: CAN 3 - SWE 1
Apr 17, 2014
Virtanen scored twice to lead Canada to the tournament-opening win.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – USA 1
Mar 30, 2014
U18 women win gold.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 1 – RUS 0 (OT)
Mar 29, 2014
Canada edges Russia in overtime.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 5 – CZE 0
Mar 26, 2014
Canadians shut out Czechs.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – FIN 0
Mar 24, 2014
U18 women blank Finland.
2014 WWU18C: CAN 7 – JPN 1
Mar 23, 2014
Canada starts Worlds with win
2014 PARA: CAN 3 – NOR 0 (Bronze)
Mar 15, 2014
Billy Bridges scored a pair of goals to lead Canada to a Paralympic bronze.
2014 PARA: USA 3 – CAN 0 (Semifinal)
Mar 13, 2014
Corbin Watson made seven saves, but Canada will play for Paralympic bronze.
2014 PARA: CAN 1 – CZE 0 (Preliminary)
Mar 11, 2014
Westlake scored the lone goal to help Canada to a perfect preliminary round.
2014 PARA: CAN 4 – NOR 0 (Preliminary)
Mar 09, 2014
Adam Dixon scored twice to lead Canada to its second straight win in Sochi.
2010 OLYW: Flag Raising
Feb 10, 2010
Canada's National Women's Team taking part in the Flag Raising ceremony at the Olympic Village in Vancouver, B.C.
Schedule
Close
Credit  
Close
Photo Credit: