The wonderful thing about Sledge Hockey is that the sport can not only be played by disabled and able-bodied people, but also the fact there is little need for any adaptations to be made to cater for ones needs, the only alteration in the game refers to how a player can Tee-charge, they can use any part at the front of their sledge. With players being strapped into a sledge everybody has an equal chance of becoming a sporting champion or, dare we say it, causing themselves a painful injury.
The game originates from Sweden where two disabled sportsman, eager to play Ice Hockey, placed a metal frame on top of two skate blades and added a couple of round poles equipped with bike handles.
Interest in the game started to rise in the late sixties and in 1969 competitions between various teams started to take place around the world and in 1981 Britain finally launched their first sledge hockey team.
To make things a little easier and to allow disabled players to maintain their dignity, the entrance to their benches and penalty benches have playing ice so there is no need to ask for any extra support accessing these areas. The bench area itself is formed of smooth plastic or ice.
In 1984 the sport was inducted into the Paralympic Games; it was no surprise that Sweden won the first gold medal.
The British Sledge Hockey Association (BSHA) was formed in 1981 which helps to promote and develop the sport across the country. Their main goal is to form another national league so they can have a team which can qualify for the Paralympic Winter Games in 2014. For more information please visit their website.
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