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Free Sled Hockey:

Free Sled Hockey On Saturdays, July Thru August

Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 2:57PM

Sledge hockey (known as sled hockey in the United States) is a sport that was designed to allow participants who have a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey. Ice sledge hockey was invented in the early 1960s in Stockholm, Sweden at a rehabilitation centre. It is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympics Games.

According to J.J. O'Connor, chairman of USA Hockey's Disabled Section, whose organization offers four alternatives to so-called stand-up hockey, sled hockey's recent growth has been dramatic, boosted by its embrace by the National Hockey League and by other Paralympics sports organizations.

Three years ago, four teams competed in the USA Hockey Sled Classic, open to teams across the nation. Last year drew 16 entries, a fourfold increase. In all, he says, 50 adult and junior teams are competing in the sport, with an estimated 1,500 players participating.

"The number of sled teams continues to grow, and they're playing at a higher level, too," O'Connor says. "Having more and more players produces more potential high-level players, and we're seeing that."

On Saturdays from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, the Boston Shamrocks will be holding Sled Hockey sessions for those who would like to put their disabilities on ice, grab a sled and a couple of sticks and experience Sled Hockey this summer. Players will skate in Wilmington, MA at the Ristuccia Arena, the practice arena of the Boston Bruins.

From July through August, parents, kids, teenagers and their family members with and without disabilities are welcome to try out Sled Hockey for free! Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and USA Hockey have provided our program with sleds and sticks and Orange Leaf of Lexington has donated helmets, gloves and ice time.

This unique experience and opportunity will get you off your chair and onto the Bruins practice ice where you and your family will experience hockey in a whole new way! Come to play like a champion!

For information about the Boston Shamrocks free sled hockey program, or to register, call 781-838-0352.