It’s Hockey Time!

Labour Day weekend has come and gone for another year which means the hockey season is just around the corner. As a true Canadian, it’s in my blood to be excited for this time of the year and although I’m not a fan of the cold, snowy winters, I’m definitely looking forward to late cozy nights watching our Canadian teams kick butt. (Personally I’m rooting for the leafs, Go Leafs!!!)

In the 1960’s, the sport sledge hockey was invented by two men in Sweden who wanted to continue playing hockey despite their physical disability. To this day it is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games.

2013 Canada wins gold at the Wold Sledge Hockey Championships

2013 Canada wins gold at the Wold Sledge Hockey Championships

The rules of the game are essentially the same as traditional ice hockey for an able-body. The only rule unique for sledge hockey is teeing-charging an apponent using any part of the front radius of the sledge.

220px-Ice_hockey_sledWhat is The Sledge?

The sledge is a small plastic shell that is attached to a metal frame with 2 skate blades directly beneath the player. Each player is securely strapped into their sledges to be sure they are safely able to propel themselves down the ice.

How to get some speed?

Each player has two short sticks and each end serves a purpose. Like a normal hockey stick, each one has a blade that’s designed for shooting, passing and stick handling. The other end has a pick to allow the player to dig into the ice and to pull themselves along.  The pick is no more then 1 cm long to limit player injury, (I’m sure it could be tempting to use in a fight for those aggressive players).

Sledge hockey can be a great outing for someone looking to play a sport and it’s a great way to meet new friends.  Generally playing in a city league, the team sport is for all ages and divided depending on the players ability.  In the GTA we have a couple leagues and the season is about to begin. You can find more information at these sites listed below if you are  interested in learning more about the sport or if you are interested in signing up. Who know’s, perhaps one day you’ll be playing for the Canadian Sledge Hockey Team.

Missisauga Cruisers: http://www.cruisers-sports.com/Sledge.shtml

Toronto Tornadoes: http://tornadoesparasport.org/

Hamilton Sledge Hockey:  http://www.parasportontario.ca/SportDevelopment/ClubDirectory/GTARegion.aspx?udt_383_param_detail=1036

 

Michelle Wolfe

Ice Bucket Challenge With A Surprise!

As of Wednesday, August 27, the ALS Association has received $94.3 million donations . Last year this time, they received a much smaller amount at $2.7 million. In Canada, alone, we have almost reached $10 million.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die and leave voluntary muscles paralyzed. Eighty percent of people with ALS die within two to five years of diagnosis, leaving them unable to breathe or swallow. The lack of funding for research and awareness has previously been limited for ALS possibly due to the short life span once diagnosed.

If you haven’t heard of the ice bucket challenge, you must have been living under a rock for the past couple weeks. The challenge to raise funds by dumping a bucket of ice over your head has went viral and millions are participating daily. Some are saying the challenge is lame and many people are making excuses, such as: those worried about the unnecessary use of water and/or unsure of where all the funding will go towards. I personally think the idea is an amazing way to get the ball rolling on finding a cure and getting the awareness out there about this incurable disease. Im sure a few days ago most of the population didn’t even know what ALS stood for.

Here at Aim2Walk, we deal with all sorts of neurological diseases so we were happy to take the challenge when we were nominated by Under Pressure Hyperbarics. Our very own artist Jesse Lown isn’t generally involved in “trends” so he was determined to make this challenge “original”. He did just that and you can see how he was surprised at how it all played out for him in this short video.

If you wish to donate please go to www.ALS.ca and feel free to dump some ice water on your head while your at it.

Here are a few other “original” videos of the ice bucket challenge.

Michelle Wolfe

Out With The Old, In With The New!

The International Symbol of Access (ISA) or informally known as the International Wheelchair Symbol is a well recognized sign all over the world. It was designed in 1968 by Susanne Koefoed and was later modified by Karl Montan with simply adding a head to the person. Recently it has been up for discussion again about redesigning a new and improved ISA. Currently, the traditional symbol is more of a passive design of a white stick man and wheelchair on a blue background. Disability activists are suggesting that the current icon is focusing more on the wheelchair and not on the person. They would like to see the image changed to a more active and engaged person with disability. The new accessible icon was created by art student Sara Hendren and grafeity artist Brian Glenney. Together, they have been working with a group called the Accessible Icon Project and they hope this new logo will replace the old.

Which one do you prefer?

Which one do you prefer?

Several places in the world such as Italy have started to introduce the new logo. Were interested to hear what you think. Please comment below and tell us your opinion. Perhaps if there’s a large interest, we will change our wheelchair parking logo at Aim2Walk to the new and improved active design!

Michelle Wolfe