Local charity Powered By Sport (PBS) has recently launched a brand new all ability sport Inline Sled Hockey, and on Thursday, September 14 they opened their first new club based in Armagh City.
Inline Sled hockey is an adaptation of the Paralympic sport ‘Ice Sled Hockey’ which itself is an adaptation of Ice Hockey.
This new sport enables both disabled and abled body participants to participate in an exciting team sport side by side.
In Sled Hockey players sit on specially designed sleds that have wheels mounted underneath. These sleds allow players to glide across any sports hall while using two specially designed hockey sticks to propel themselves forward and handle the puck or ball.
The sleds are usable from ages 6 years and up, with the oldest participant to date being 67.
One of the most remarkable aspects of sled hockey is its inclusivity. It is not just fun for able bodied – participants but it welcomes individuals with a wide range of disabilities, including but not limited to spinal cord injuries, amputations, and mobility impairments.
Players compete together on a level playing field, emphasising skill and teamwork over physical limitations. All the sleds are adjustable to suit a range of sizes and conditions. Users of electric wheelchairs can also take part thanks to a specially adapted device.
PBS have invested in 30 sleds to kick start this new sport in Northern Ireland and plan to open three clubs across Northern Ireland over the next 12 months.
The first club is located in Armagh City at the large indoor Armagh Harps Sports Hall.
Club sessions are every Thursday night 7pm – 8pm and PBS are actively looking for participants of all ages and abilities to make contact with them and come and give the sport a try.