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Monday, September 12, 2011

Let's Raise Awareness and Raise Support...

On Sunday, September 4, we had our third free sled hockey clinic. The first one was in 2009 and about 40 people tried out sleds for the first time. The second one was in 2010, and about 100 athletes came out to play. Some of the people who came out in 2010 had come to our first clinic, but a lot of them were new to the sport. Finally, we just had our third clinic where about 80 people tried out sled hockey, and about 1/2 of those were returning athletes, while the other 1/2 were trying it out for the first time.

Obviously, it's a fantastic sport. When we get people coming out again and again to the sled hockey clinics we host, we know that they have caught the love of the sport in their hearts. When we get new athletes coming out to try the sport, we know that we have the potential to expand.

In this picture, Nick, the founder and visionary behind 
sled hockey in SoCal (in the red helmet), races to the puck 
against a person who is trying out the sport for the first time.  

Recently, I was discussing sled hockey in Southern California with a friend who lives in Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania is a large state with a little over 12 million people, and it supports somewhere between 3 and 5 sled hockey programs (three that I know of for sure, and two others that have been viable in the past, although I am not sure they are still running).  

In contrast, Southern California, at a little over 22 million people, has over twice the population that Pennsylvania has.  We have 2 NHL teams: the Ducks and the Kings.  Yet, we have only one sled hockey program, (this one), and it is trying hard to hold its head above water with sleds it borrows once a year for a clinic.  Currently, we have 20 child-sized helmets and 20 pairs of adult-sized gloves and elbow pads.  One of our athletes has his own sled, and another athlete has his own hockey gear (helmet, pads, and sticks, but no sled).  

Southern California should be able to support this sled hockey program!  In fact, if Pennsylvania is any example, Southern California should be able to support six to ten sled hockey teams.  

Southern California alone has more population than any other state in the union, including New York (a little over 19 million and two to four sled hockey programs), Illinois (a little over 12 million, and two to three sled hockey programs), and Texas (a little over 21 million and (two to three sled hockey programs).  

Call to Action

So, here is where I tell you how you can help.  There are four ways to help.  All of them are equally necessary.  You might be able to do two, three, or all four, and I'll bet you can do at least one of them!

Way 1-- You can help by donating a sled, ice time, or new equipment to this team.  Sleds cost about $700-$800 each.  Ice time is about $350 an hour.  Equipment varies in price.  Some people wouldn't have any problem writing a check for one of those amounts, or even just pitching in $20, $50, or $100 towards these items.

Way 2--You can help by donating used gear to our team.  We're not picky at this point.  We need larger helmets.  We need face cages.  We need smaller gloves and elbow pads.  We need other hockey gear as well.  Many people have garages full of the stuff because their kids played hockey at one time.  If it's still in good condition, we'll be happy to take it off your hands.  

Way 3-- You can help by getting a business, club, church group, etc. to donate a big-ticket item.  Since sleds cost between $700 and $800, if a group of twenty people donated about $40 each, the group could cover the cost of a hockey sled for our team.  If a group of ten people donated about $35 each, it would cover the cost of an hour of ice time for our team.  If a company has more employees than that, then the amount per employee goes down.  You get the picture, I'm sure.  

We have materials you can use to talk with such companies and groups about donating.  If you would like to get our letter asking for donations so you can take it to places of business in your area, just e-mail us at

In addition, groups of hockey teams may be able to donate a partial sheet of ice once-in-a-while.  If your hockey team could give up 1/3 or 1/2 of the ice occasionally so our sled hockey team has a place to practice, it would help us greatly.  

Way 4-- We need volunteers who are willing to help athletes get into sleds, help push some of the less-skilled or less-able athletes around on the ice, and perform various other tasks.  We are currently looking for coaches as well.  I do not want to downplay this because donating time is often more valuable than donating money.  

Think of the one, two, three, or four ways you can help kick-start sled hockey in Southern California!  

To inspire you to greatness, here is the video to our latest clinic on September 4.  I hope you count the smiles and realize that sled hockey is worth every penny and every second people invest in it.  When you decide you want to help, please e-mail Todd or Christie at

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I want the letter fr donations. I think I know some people who might help.