Sledge Hockey, also known as Sled Hockey in other countries, is an exciting alternative sport that was originally designed to allow individuals who have a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey. Invented in the early 1960’s at a rehabilitation centre in Sweden, ice Sledge Hockey is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games.
Sledge Hockey began in Sweden in the 1960’s when a group of physically disabled athletes, through their desire to continue to play ice hockey, developed a sled that could glide on an ice surface. A Swedish club-team initially tested out “sledge hockey” without goaltenders and a smaller sized goal. Interest in the sport continued to grow in Europe and in 1982, Canada created their own Sledge Hockey programs. In 1990, the 1st International Rules for Sledge Hockey were drafted using modified Canadian Ice Hockey Rules. Sledge Hockey has been part of the Paralympic Games since 1994 and is one of the fastest growing winter sports. The 1st sanctioned World Championships in Ice Sledge Hockey were hosted in Sweden with six (6) teams participating, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, Estonia, USA and Canada. Today, Ontario is the leading force in the development of Sledge Hockey across Canada.
Sledge Hockey participants discover that piloting a sledge is fun and a great form of exercise. It increases strength and coordination and also conditions the upper body. The balance used to propel, play the puck, turn and stop gives arms, back and abdominal muscles a real workout. In fact, paraplegics playing regularly notice an increase in balance when using their wheelchairs.
Everyone!... Sledge Hockey is a sport that integrates players with physical mobility limitations, amputees and able-bodied players, making it a truly inclusive sport.
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