CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — From the Paralympics to Pennsylvania rinks, sled hockey is opening the ice to players of all abilities.
“I love getting people on the ice that never would’ve had the chance if it wasn’t for sled hockey like this,” said Sara Becker, volunteer coach and teammate for the Coyotes.
For many of the Coyotes players, the sensation of sled hockey skating is an all-new experience.
“Sled hockey is intended for people with physical disabilities, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to stand up and skate,” said Coyotes Manager Alexis Wilson. “We also have many players on our team that have intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Once you’re strapped in your sled, Wilson said none of that matters. Everyone is on even ice.
“It just gives everybody the opportunity to participate in a team sport, people that maybe otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to do so,” said Wilson.
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Wilson said anyone is invited to play. Their current roster has players ages six through adulthood.
“Everybody becomes like family, when you meet players from other teams you create friendships and bonds with people that live all across the country,” said Wilson.
Their tournament is happening Saturday, May 21 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Galactic Ice in Altoona.