Power Hockey, Ottawa

Power Hockey, Ottawa


Well, speaking of Ottawa hockey, this next story is
going to be awesome. Shelby Travers met up with
athletes from Ottawa’s power wheelchair hockey league, and caught a game in action. [Woman] Nice work,
Tammi. Nice work. Where’s the ball? Ah, that’s offside. Power hockey is not
for the faint of heart. That’s one of the reasons why
I’m so passionate about it. You know, I’m almost
30 years old. I’ve played a lot of
different para sports, and power hockey is the epitome of intensity, competition. It embodies all those things. No I wasn’t, you
were hooking me buddy. Yeah, whatever. [Shelby] Roddy Harb was one
of the first players to join the Ottawa Power Hockey League back in 2009. All our players, as soon
as they get to play that, that first period, they
just fall in love with it. The sport is an adapted
version of hockey, for players in
power wheelchairs. The athletes have varying
levels of mobility. Some are able to stick
handle on their own, while others have the stick
taped to their chair. The game is played on
a gymnasium floor, with a wiffle ball
in place of a puck. (whistle blows) There are only four
players on at all times, verus five that are
usually in ice hockey. Which gives more room
for the power chairs to move around. Lead him out, Chris. That’s the wrong team. [Shelby]
Volunteer Alex Lalonde has been involved with
the sport for five years. I have many different
roles in the league. I’m a coach for both
the Ottawa Capitals, which is our traveling
competitive team, as well as a coach here,
in the regular season. I also am the handy man. So I fix any wheelchairs
that break down, or parts that need
to be replaced. And I also tweak the chairs, to make them perform better. High performance is a top
priority for the players. [Alex] Our
athlete’s are tough. You know, you gotta be
tough to play this game. There’s a lot of
chairs coming at you. You have to have quick,
fast reflexes. You have to be smart. You have to be proactive, thinking ahead, because
you have 300 pound machines coming at you, and
they’re maxed out. They move at almost
you know, 15 kilometers, 16 kilometers an hour. So they can really motor
and you have to turn and to accelerate, and to maneuver these machines, is incredibly challenging. There it’s comin’, you got it. Come back here, please. Which is exactly what
keeps Kellen Schleyer coming back week after week, for more adrenaline. I have cerebral palsy. It’s a disability affecting all four of my limbs. Mostly the lower part. I always thought about
hockey being rough, and I didn’t think
I could play cause, my disability, a rough sport. But when I joined this league, I loved the intensity, and the roughness of it. [Shelby] And he has
one thing to say to anyone thinking of giving
power hockey a try. Come out, try it. It’s super fun. I guarantee you’ll like it,
if you’re a hockey lover. And as more athletes
try the sport, and it grows across the country, the Ottawa league has
one goal set in mind. We would like to see the league
recognized as a para sport, and start seeing this
at the Paralympics, and competing overseas,
with the other leagues. Lead the ball in front of them, so they don’t go offside. But I’m loving the passing. I’m loving it. [Shelby] In the meantime,
power hockey continues to empower athletes, like Roddy. Forward, forward, forward! I feel like a hockey player. Yeah, I feel like
a star, when I play. And I feel like I
gotta make it happen. Just what any normal
hockey player would feel. And I think that’s what’s so
special about this sport, is you forget about
your disability and forget about everything that you don’t have,
and you think about, what do I
contribute to the game? I gotta say, power
hockey looks like a blast. Absolutely. It’s
an adaptive sport, that really captures
the essence of the game. Yup, definitely not
for the faint of heart. Those athletes are fierce. If you would like more
information about an existing league, or you’d like to start a
league in your community, check out the website,
at cewha.ca

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *