Jay: Special Athletes

Sunday, I, along with Brad, Bob, Yvonne, Shark, Amy Parmenter, and one of our AM photogs Kevin Marsalla got to participate in a really special event.  We, as well as some former Whalers(go ahead click on it, you won’t be let down!!!!)played in a charity sled hockey event for the CT Sled Hockey association(here’s a link).  These players, ranging from as young as 12 to upwards of mid-50’s are all either para, or quadrapalegic.  They come to the arena in their wheelchairs or on crutches with a huge smile on their faces and they are trash-talking from the get-go.  The volunteers who assist this team prepare all the equipment and help out the athletes that need it.  Its amazing watching them struggle on dry land, but as soon as they get onto the ice, seeing them get around is great to watch, check out this video of a game between the USA and Canadian national team WATCH.   My father was a parapalegic, he could walk around, but with a significant limp.  I could only imagine that he would enjoy this sport and I guess that’s why I feel so priveledged playing against and helping out this team for the past three years.  Let me tell you, they killed us.  They were probably playing at 1/2 speed and they still wiped the rink w/ us.  They won 7-3 but I think they could have scored at least 20 goals.  It’s all worth it though just to see how happy that we go out and play against them and raise awarness for their sport.  Some of the players had accidents or they developed something over the years that put them in their situation and this team and organization gives them a chance to be involved in sports and on a team.  I guess thats why sports means so much to me and others.  You can’t put into words how much it means to be involved on a team, and for these athletes, and believe me, they are world-class athletes, it has to mean so much more.  Some of the team members are also part of various national programs.  So if you ever have a chance to watch one of these games, I recommend that you take the time out, you won’t be dissapointed.  We as a team always enjoy getting whooped up on every year and I can’t wait till next year.

Want to send a big Thank You out to all the people who came out to our Town Hall talk-back Saturday at Bucklands.  A lot of great questions and comments and its always nice to come see who’s watching us.  I even met a women who is a big fan of this blog, YAH someone else besides my wife and mom read this.  We will do another one of these soon, so stay tuned and tell your friends about us!!!!!


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