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Monday, January 30, 2012

Successful Clinics Help Launch 2 New Programs

Raise your hand if you got in a hockey sled at the Oxnard or Bakersfield clinics the last weekend of January?  More than 50 people are raising their hands!

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Kellie Hays, along with countless other people from USA Hockey and both cities, the clinics were very successful.

Kellie brought Ahmad Karimzada and Tom Lopeman from the Phoenix Coyotes Sled Team to help conduct the clinic.  Both Ahmad and Tom are double amputees, and Ahmad was previously on the US National Sled Hockey Team.  Kay Robertson, longtime sled hockey booster at all levels, including the US National Team also helped out at both clinics.

The weekend started in Oxnard at Channel Islands Ice Center (CIIC) on Saturday, January 28.  A crew of volunteers helped 31 people try out sled hockey.  Mel and Rhonda Waidmann spearheaded the sled hockey clinic.  This was the first clinic for CIIC and they plan to form a sled hockey team from the momentum generated from the clinic.  Their team will be part of the Riptide Hockey program.  The participants ranged in ages, but the majority of the participants at this clinic were children.  One of the volunteers was a physical therapist who brought straps for participants' legs, and those worked better than the usual tape.  In addition to the clinic, the rink provided grilled hamburgers and hot dogs to all the participants.  There was a raffle for a $50 and a $10 gift certificate as a fundraiser to start the team as well.  Contact for more information about the Oxnard program.

After the clinic was over, the sleds, sticks, clinicians, and gear were trucked the 120 miles over to Bakersfield.  The clinicians and volunteers enjoyed an ECHL hockey game (the Bakersfield Condors vs. The Ontario Reign) and tried to relax before the next clinic the next day.

On Sunday, January 29, the clinic was at Bakersfield Ice Sports Center, a beautiful facility behind Rabobank Arena.  More than 22 people got in a sled there, and the general consensus from the athletes seemed to be positive.  Many were figuring out how they could buy sleds and form a team.  At this clinic, although participants were young and old, the majority of the participants were adults. The mascot of Bakersfield's ECHL team, Colonel Claw'd also showed up for the event.  The rink provided a pizza lunch for all the hungry participants.  For more information on this budding program, contact

Todd and Christie Jenkins from the Junior Reign Sled Hockey Team in Riverside brought helmets, elbow pads, and gloves along to both clinics so the participants could be safe.

It was a great weekend for sled hockey in Southern California! Stay in touch for the most recent developments on those two fledgling programs.  With turnouts like those, they will be flourishing programs in no time!

In other News:

The Junior Reign Sled Team will hold it's next practices on February 6 and 20 at 7:00 PM. For more information, e-mail Todd at

Also, flyers were finally  made for the Junior Reign Sled Team, and for an electronic (.PDF) version of the flyer, send a request to Todd at the e-mail address above.  The flyers come two to a page and are in color, although they will print out black and white as well.  You can print them or attach them to e-mails to friends you know who might be interested.

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