The folks at Canadian Blind Hockey are hoping to set up regular play in Newfoundland and Labrador. After a day at the Double Ice Complex in Paradise today, it looks like there’s plenty of enthusiasm for the sport.
— Gerri Lynn Mackey (@GerriLynnMackey) October 12, 2017
The St. John’s Blind Hockey program kicked off this afternoon by giving individuals who are blind or partially sighted an opportunity to try out the parasport.
President of the Canadian Blind Ice Hockey Association, Matt Morrow, has travelled to the province to oversee an off-ice and on-ice workshop for visually impaired children.
The arena was alive with students and teachers alike, as more than a dozen visually impaired young people took to the ice. Members of Queen Elizabeth High School’s hockey team were also present to offer assistance to anyone requiring a helping hand.
The program is already on solid footing here, thanks to Stephen Joy, who says he’s committed to running the local arm of the organization.
Joy’s 14-year-old son, Brandon, was recently deemed legally blind but he has played hockey his entire life. As part of a program by Canadian Blind Hockey, Brandon was given the opportunity to take part in a training camp in Vancouver this summer. His experience led to his dad requesting the sport come to Newfoundland and Labrador.
When he saw players in Vancouver, Joy realized that Brandon had no options to play in local hockey leagues. He says he didn’t want to tell his son that he couldn’t play anymore.
Joy expected 15 kids to sign up, but was surprised by the higher registration numbers. He says they had 32 signed up for the first event, which was only for school-aged children. He’s hopeful that those kids will just be the start.
Joy has strong goals for the program on a local level and says he hopes to be running the program once every Sunday a year from now. Eventually, he aims to host tournaments here and build up a team to represent Newfoundland and Labrador across the country.
Anyone interested in joining or learning more can email Stephen Joy at: [email protected]