You might have received a flyer about sled hockey from the Ability Expo in Los Angeles. We could not afford or secure a booth before the event, but we did go and pass out flyers to the attendees who went on Friday. We were also able to leave some flyers at The Amputee Connection booth, the NAPA Center booth, and The Triumph Foundation booth. Thanks to those organizations for allowing us to use your booth space for our flyers.
If you are curious about sled hockey in Southern California, there are four programs at differing levels of organization.
The Riverside team is called the Junior Reign Sled Hockey Team, and it has practices every other Monday at IceTown (10540 Magnolia). The next practices are April 2, 16, 30, and May 14 and 28. The team currently has 13 sleds and gloves, helmets, and elbow pads to borrow. The team accepts athletes ages 5 and up, and most of the current athletes are adults (although we do have some children). It is free to come to Riverside and try out a sled to see if you will like it. Come on out and you can borrow a sled, sticks, and pads. After the first practice, if you decide to join the team, there is a $25 monthly fee to help pay for ice time. If you want more information about the Junior Reign Sled Hockey Team, contact Todd at TJenkins@JrReign.com
The Oxnard team is the Riptide Sled Hockey team, and it is just starting up. In fact, their first practice is April 7, and the next one is April 14. (Note the change in date. Previously, it the first practice was April 4, but because of shipping problems with their new sleds, they moved the first practice back to April 7.) They are in the process of fundraising for more sleds and ice time. They practice at the Channel Islands Ice Center. If you have questions about the Riptide Sled Hockey Team, contact Rhonda at VCSledHockey@hotmail.com.
The Bakersfield team is under development. They had a clinic in January and have very limited equipment. If you live close enough to Bakersfield to practice there, you could get in on the ground floor of the team. When they are ready, they will be affiliated with Bakersfield Ice Sports Center. If you would like more information about the Bakersfield program, contact Scott at SHay@bakersfieldicesports.com. You could also contact Brian Rathfelder on Facebook for information.
The San Diego team is perhaps the least developed. They have had some clinics and are busy raising support. We are hoping they will be able to have an event soon, and we will keep you posted on the next event they have. If you would like more information about the San Diego program, contact TJenkins@JrReign.com and he will get you in touch with the right people.
Sled hockey is a very fun sport that allows athletes to get out of their wheelchairs. We are very proud of all of the programs in Southern California. We hope you can find a program that will be right for you.
FYI- we are also on Facebook. You can join the group SoCalSledHockey, and/or you can also join the groups for Junior Reign Sled Hockey Team and Riptide Sled Hockey Team. Click on the links and they will take you to those group pages. You can also follow us on Twitter: SoCalSledHockey. This is a good way to find out information about upcoming events.