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Monday, October 3, 2011

DisAbility Sports Festival 2011

We had a great time at the DisAbility Sports Festival on Saturday, October 1.  We had a sled hockey booth where people could sign up for more information.  Some interesting contacts were made, including many people who were unfamiliar with the sport, or did not know that we were playing it out here.  Hopefully, those contacts will translate into more athletes, more support, and more resources.  The photo above is what our booth looked like.  We had a sled on display, flyers, and a sign-up sheet.

Maybe in the coming years we can actually demo the sport at the Festival.  The problem is that Cal State has no ice, even on the coldest winter day.  There are some options for a sled hockey demo.  One option is to outfit some sleds with roller equipment.  Mobility Sports sells roller accessories so that we could modify the sleds for gymnasiums and so on.  They use wheels like rollerblades, and instead of the ice pics, the sticks have crutch tips on them to move across the floor.  Below is a selection of some of the modifications they offer.

Another possibility is to use synthetic ice.  Here is a link to one of the many businesses that sells synthetic ice. It looks like each sheet is about $50, so for $500 or $1,000 we could have a surface that is good enough to demo sled hockey on.  

Of course, all of those options are pie-in-the-sky right now.  We're still raising money to buy the basic equipment such as sleds, ice time, helmets, and pads.  We're in no position to purchase the equipment to demo the sport without ice.  Still, a person can dream, right?

Aaron Moffett, the founder of the DisAbility Sports Festival has been a great supporter of our program from the beginning, and we are so happy to have his support.  In his opening remarks, he said that about 40% of able-bodied people get the Surgeon General's recommended 90 minutes of exercise each week, but only 10% of persons with disabilities get the recommended amount of exercise.  That is a travesty, and it's something we are working together to change!

Kyoung-Moon Shin, a member of South Korea's sled hockey team came out to the festival and helped us with our booth.  He also tried out archery.  He's pretty good at it!

Nick Jenkins and Brock Waidmann tried out wheelchair basketball, kayaking, handcycling, and archery.  They had a great day, but, of course, sled hockey is their love.  

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