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Nov. 4, 2016


Shearwater-based special needs club offers new players the chance to experience Canada’s game

A newly formed hockey club in Nova Scotia is offering the hockey experience to a brand new group of players.

The Nova Scotia Special Needs Hockey Club hit the ice at the Shearwater Arena in Shearwater, N.S. earlier this fall. The club is open to adults and young people with developmental disabilities and aims to give them the opportunity to play the sport in a safe, fun and supportive environment.

“The [Nova Scotia Special Needs Hockey Club’s] first few weeks have been tremendous,” said Ian Readey, president of the Nova Scotia Special Needs Hockey Club. “The support I’ve received from our parents, athletes and supporters has been overwhelming.”

Readey, who previously played special needs hockey in Ontario and the United States, has spent the past four years working to help launch the program in Nova Scotia. The new Nova Scotia club is the only program east of Ontario.

“I know firsthand the benefits of Canada’s game and the tremendous good it can do for these athletes,” Readey said. “The social forum it provides is incredible. It is also a therapeutic activity for the players as the sport can help the athletes with aspects of their disabilities.”

Special needs hockey focuses on participation and inclusion. The athletes are encouraged to socialize and create friendships with the players on the other teams. Fun, friendship, and participation is the name of the game

Hockey Nova Scotia is proud to partner with the Special Needs Hockey Club to help grow the game here in Nova Scotia.

“We at Hockey Nova Scotia fully support this amazing initiative,” said Darren Cossar, Executive Director of Hockey Nova Scotia. “This program offers players who haven’t had an opportunity or avenue to get on the ice to get out there and experience our game.”

This year, the Special Needs Hockey Club has been helped out by a number of local coaches who hit the ice weekly with the team. Hockey Nova Scotia’s Elite Hockey Chair Steve Coates has also joined the Special Needs Hockey Club and is helping to administer the new program.

"We want them to go out there, have fun and enjoy themselves,” Coates said. “After that, it's the social aspect. They get to make friends and that's what it's all about.”

The Special Needs Hockey Club returns to the ice at the Shearwater Arena (66 Boundary Road, Shearwater, N.S.) on Sunday, November 6 at 7 p.m.

For more information on the Nova Scotia Special Needs Hockey Club, please click here to visit their website.

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