sled bar

sled bar
Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page by clicking on the image above.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Commitment and Currency

Pedro carries the puck in the December 29 mini
tourney against Bakersfield and Phoenix

2013 is a travel year for the Junior Reign.  Last year, we spent a lot of funds and efforts on building up the team, recruiting athletes, purchasing sleds and equipment, and helping other nearby programs get established.  This year we want to continue with all of those efforts and add one more: travel.

Currently, our team draws athletes from Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties, and those five counties cover 37,573 square miles total.  Wow!  That's about 1% of the total land of the entire United States, and a larger total land area than many of our states.  In fact, If you combined the total land area of Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Hawaii, and threw in most of New Hampshire for good measure, you'd have the area those five counties cover.  

Now, that's not to say that we have athletes coming from the far reaches of each of those counties.  For instance, we have no athletes coming from Needles, nor do we have any from Chula Vista.  However, the point is that we do have athletes coming from Escondido, Yucaipa, Long Beach, Fullerton, Mission Viejo, Pasadena, and many diverse cities all around the area.

Our athletes are used to travel.  They have to travel just to get to practice.  Personally, our family puts 60 miles on our "hockey/family/wheelchair van" every time we go to Icetown and back, and we have one of the closest commutes.

This year, we plan to travel to games.  We have been invited to go to Bakersfield and take on the Central Valley team.  We have been invited to go to Phoenix and do a rematch with their team.  And, we hope to raise enough funds to get to the NHL Classic in Pennsylvania in the fall.  We would go as representatives of the Kings, since their charity Kings Care provided a generous donation to our team in the fall of 2012 and is also supporting us through our ice rink, LA Kings Icetown Riverside.  

This is the graphic they used for the 2012 NHL Classic
in Buffalo.  This year's will be hosted by the Penguins in Pittsburgh. 

The two things we need in order to travel as a team are commitment and currency.

First, we need commitment.  I can say with all honesty that I am so stinking proud of our athletes who have overcome so many barriers in order to participate in sled hockey.  One of our athletes has changed her sorority's rules about mandatory meetings.  Another has changed his work schedule.  Many have endured hours of physical therapy post-surgery in order to get back on the ice quicker.  I know there is plenty of commitment from this team.

Still, we could use more.  We can always use more.  For instance, we need someone committed to playing goalie and learning that position well.  It takes a slightly insane person to volunteer to take a position where athletes will be hurtling extremely quick pucks at you.  Since every person I've ever met has a slight degree of insanity, maybe playing goalie is right for you.  You have to be in great shape to be able to fall over and block a puck over here, then get right back up on your sled just to block a puck from the other side.  The core strength sled hockey goalies need is incredible.  Imagine the six pack you will have to show off!

Also, whether or not you want to be goalie, there is a certain level of dry land training you can be doing between practices.  Some of you may want to go to "puck play" to improve your game and work on the skills you have been learning at practice as well.  I know one athlete has expressed he wants to work on his speed, because in any game, speed is important, but in hockey, speed is important squared.  Maybe important cubed.  

The other thing necessary for travel is currency.  Traveling to Bakersfield won't be too expensive, and Phoenix will be slightly more.  The big expense, however, will be Pennsylvania.  Car washes, sponsorships, donations, fundraisers, grants from businesses, and all the rest of the "fun" ways to raise funds are in the works. We might not have the strength and skill of some of the more established sled hockey teams out there, but we have the spunk we need to go out there, put our sleds on the ice, play some puck, and show the nation that the West Coast is on the sled hockey map.  

Passing our flyers to recruit more sled hockey players
at the Los Angeles Ability Expo on March 16.

No comments:

Post a Comment