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Adaptive Sports Travel for Children with Disabilities

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 47 K
Funding amount
Our project is adaptive sports travel for children with disabilities. The need for this project stems from the lack of availability of adaptive sports in the Philadelphia area. People affected by physical disabilities are three times more likely to suffer from heart disease, have greater risk of obesity, and they just don't get the same opportunities for physical activity as able bodied children on a regular basis. Another need for our program stems from the susceptibility that disabled individuals have to develop mental health issues. Our organization wants to offer the physical activity and camaraderie that team sports offer able bodied children. We hope to build independence and self-esteem. We also want to expand and offer more levels of play to ensure that they will continue to play the sport into adulthood and have a healthy life.
Our coaching staff are all certified through USA Hockey training and we make it our policy to continue this each year. We currently have 4 coaches, and 3 assistants. We have integrated the local high schools’ hockey players as volunteer. The teenagers need to get community service hours and they are very involved with us due to their love of hockey. We provide 35 games between the season, tournaments and events. We also play 7 to 10 able bodied games. This has allowed us to successfully provide opportunities for all of our players no matter what physical limitations they may have.
The sled hockey season runs from September to April of the following year. Practices are held weekly along with regular season games and tournaments. We travel extensively, playing games against other teams from New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. We attend tournaments all across the country as well as Canada and compete at the sled hockey nationals, The Disabled Festival. Here, our players get to compete against the top level teams in the country. Outside of our regular season games, we do community outreach by setting up scrimmage games against able-bodied teams. We provide sleds to these teams so that they can learn and appreciate the sport of hockey from a different perspective. These scrimmages allow us to show all communities that, on the ice, there are no differences in competitiveness and the love of hockey.
The final outcome that we wish to accomplish from this grant funding would be to provide financial coverage for all of our players to travel. Within our organization, all families are from very different socio-economic backgrounds. We find ourselves with limited availability of players come time to travel to games and tournaments. We wish to provide all of our players the opportunity to experience all this program has to offer.
(CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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    1117 Public Health and Health Services

  • Health Research Areas

    Population & Society