2017 ASHA Northeast Summer Hockey Camp, Woodbridge, NJ - July 22/23, 2017 is Now Open for Registration
2017 ASHA New England Summer Hockey Camp, Beverly, MA - August 4/5, 2017 is now Open for Registration

Created in 2000 for players with develop­mental disa­bilities, the Amer­ican Special Hockey Assoc­iation (ASHA) gives people of all ages and abilities a chance to learn and grow by playing hockey. There are currently over 50 ASHA programs in more than 30 cities through­out the United States. Follow special hockey on Twitter and Facebook.

Tracy Tucker Named Executive Vice President of Development

The American Special Hockey Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Tracy Tucker to the positon of Executive Vice President of Development.

Tracy brings over 20 years’ experience in Special Hockey and will assist new teams in starting up their programs. His wealth of knowledge in the area of program development will be a huge asset to our new programs coming on board. 

 

 

 

Gateway Locomotives experience being Blues for a day

 

Program for players with disabilities will be rebranded as the Blues Special Hockey Club

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

 

St. Louis- A foghorn blares, the organist plays “When the Blues Go Marchin’ In” from the upper bowl and the public address announcer Tom Calhoun’s voice carries over the loud speaker as fans cheer from the stands and players celebrate on the ice.

That was the scene at Scottrade Center on Sunday afternoon, except the St. Louis Blues weren’t on the ice for any of it.

Instead, it was the Gateway Locomotives – a group of developmentally-challenged hockey players – who got to experience what it felt like to be a Blue for a day.

The Locomotives arrived at the Ice Zone at St. Louis Outlet Mall thinking they were there for their weekly practice, but instead were introduced to Blues legend Bob Plager, who told them they would be taking a bus to Scottrade Center to experience what being a Blue was like.

When their bus arrived downtown, the team was greeted by former Blue Kelly Chase, who helped get ice time for the Locomotives at Brentwood Ice Rink when the program was created in 1994, Chase led the players to the locker room, where Blues forward Robby Fabbri was waiting to show them around and give them their new jerseys, which featured a new team name and a new logo: the Blues Special Hockey Club.

But the best was still to come.

After suiting up, the team took the ice for a game at Scottrade Center in front of more than a thousand fans who cheered them on from the stands.

One of the (kids) turned around and said she was living the dream, “said Jim Hermann, who serves as the administrator for the Gateway Locomotives and has been with the organization since its inception in 1994. “That’s what this is. For the Blues to treat these kids the way they were treated today, that’s something they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

“When we started talking about doing this, my expectations were the Blues would just allow us to use their name. We would even buy our own jerseys and create our own logo,” Hermann added. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think the Blues would do what they did today. It’s outstanding. It goes to show you what class this whole organization has from top to bottom.”

While the Locomotives got to experience what it felt like to be a Blue for a day, they’re actually now the Blues for good. With the team being renamed and rebranded, the club will now represent the St. Louis Blues in tournaments for disabled athletes.

The locomotives actually began 23 years ago when Tony Sansone Jr. learned of a disabled hockey team that was competing in Toronto. Sansone and his wife brought that idea to St. Louis, establishing the Gateway Locomotives as the first hockey team in the United States for the developmentally-challenged. The organization currently serves 45 players, including some from the original rooster. Many have been diagnosed with autism or down syndrome. Now, 60 clubs similar to the Gateway Locomotives exist across the country.

“I have seven healthy children, and not withstanding that, I have all healthy nieces and nephews, just blessings beyond what anyone would expect to experience, “ said Sansone. “We wanted to give something back more than just from a monetary standpoint, but with our time and energy. All my kids are involved, and this is a really special (organization) to my family.”

“The Blues, under the leadership of Tom Stillman and his ownership group, showed everyone what they’re all about,” Sansone said of Sunday’s event. “they’re local people that understand how important it is to be part of the landscape. They’ve certainly showed that with everything they’ve done, but more in particular with what they have done today. Words can’t describe the value they bring. Just look at what they’ve done from an inspirational standpoint for all of our athletes and their families. 

Online Story Link

 

 

The Cleveland Rockin' Wildcats are featured in Parenting Special Needs Magazine

The Cleveland Rockin' Wildcats are featured in the January/February issue of Parenting Special Needs Magazine.

Click on the following link to get the story on the Wildcats:

ASHA and One Step Beyond Bring Special Hockey to Arizona

With over 300 members at One Step Beyond, Inc. in Arizona, there are many who are hockey hungry, with no outlet or options to have the experience. At OSBI we do all we can to foster the needs and passions that our members may have. There was a huge desire to provide these members with such an outlet and give them the opportunity to get out on the ice and join the hockey community, not only for them but to create inclusion in the hockey world and amongst fans and families.

Sharing this passion for hockey and being deeply rooted in the hockey community is Jared Woosley, as a One Step long time employee and creator and director of the music program at OSBI, it was an obvious move. Along with his wife Kristin Woosley also a One Step coordinator, and dear friend Dawn Proefrock, Dawn is the founder of Hockey Helping the Homless and a loving, dedicated Bobcats hockey mom, player, and staple in the hockey world, Karen and Rob Kerns, the ultimate hockey family, who are heavily connected with the AZ Bobcats as well as the parents of Seth Kerns, a hockey fan and member at OSBI and the first name on the roster to join the One Step Bobcats, they are on fast track to building a team!

The amount of interest, support, donations and kindness has been so amazing! Everyone has pulled together in a big way to make this hockey dream happen for these guys! In a very short time we have been donated ice time, gear gear and more gear, funding, game invitations and people’s dedication and time. It’s such a great feeling! Big thanks you to Ron Filion of the Arizona Bobcats for supplying our organization with all uniform needs and Jim Rogers, Justin Rogers and Camille Becker for securing ice time throughout the year. We are honored to name Keith Carney of the NHL who will be representing us as our team ambassador! The love just keeps pouring in!

By connecting with ASHA, and becoming the One Step Bobcats, we are able to bring hockey into the lives of our members and to create an opportunity which is truly hockey history. ASHA and OSBI will be that outlet to these members, becoming Arizona’s first special hockey team!