A youngster works on his dangles during a sledge hockey open demonstration at the Kimberley Civic Centre this past Saturday.

A youngster works on his dangles during a sledge hockey open demonstration at the Kimberley Civic Centre this past Saturday.

Sledge hockey: All about what you can do

Kimberley Rotary Club hosted a large-scale sledge hockey tournament & open demonstration at Kimberley Civic Centre this past Saturday

The life of your local sports reporter is far from quiet, calm or boring, especially in communities as bustling and vibrant as Cranbrook and Kimberley.

During the fall and winter months, I have my regular beats — the Kootenay Ice, the Kimberley Dynamiters and Avalanche volleyball at College of the Rockies.

This past weekend afforded me the opportunity to visit an event not typical to my regular beat, but incredibly important nonetheless.

The Kimberley Rotary Sledge Hockey Tournament ran almost all Saturday long at the Kimberley Civic Centre, providing locals folks the opportunity to take in some highly competitive sledge matches between a variety of teams, coming from as far a Calgary and Kelowna, as well as from right at home.

Outside of formally scheduled tournament play, there was an open demonstration — an opportunity for folks to take to the ice in sleds owned by Kimberley Minor Hockey — that saw men, women and children strap themselves in and cruise around the Civic Centre ice.

With college volleyball also my slate for the afternoon, I passed on the opportunity to hit the ice — a rare thing for me to do.

While taking in the energy around the rink, I was privileged to speak with a number of Rotary Club members and folks involved with helping get sledge hockey off the ground, not only in Kimberley but in Canada.

The conversations I had were rewarding beyond words, but I do hope to share at least a bit of the wisdom I acquired on that chilly Saturday at the Civic Centre, because I truly believe it’s important.

First off, there’s a common misconception that sledge hockey is solely for the disabled.

That’s incorrect.

“It’s not about what you can’t do. It’s all about what you can do,” were the words shared.

Incredibly powerful.

Sledge hockey is intended to provide a competitive arena in which anyone — regardless of ability — can come together in the name of sport and play.

I was told a story of a little boy who, once upon a time, so desperately wanted to play hockey.

Afflicted with osteogenesis imperfecta, more commonly known as brittle bone disease, playing ice hockey simply was not in the cards for this youngster. One wrong bump could mean immense pain and broken bones.

Then he discovered sledge hockey.

Upon strapping into his sled, the little boy cruised around the ice surface before making his way to centre ice and shouting, “I’m free!”

Sport has that power.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to sledge hockey during my years at the University of Alberta. It was a fantastic experience and an incredible challenge that was truly rewarding.

A lot of people don’t realize the Civic Centre is fully equipped for sledge hockey.

A lot of people also don’t realize that the Kimberley Rotary Club raised $18,000 to purchase 12 sleds, which were then put in the care of Kimberley Minor Hockey  (KMH).

KMH cares for the equipment and anyone interested in using it is encouraged to contact KMH equipment manager Brian Anderson via email at cb.anderson@shaw.ca.

I’d encourage you to get in touch with KMH and give sledge hockey a try.

You won’t regret it.

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

6 years after a catastrophic earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal gets hit again

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read