US ice sledge hockey programmes benefit from funding

Labatt Blue and USA Hockey have announced who will benefit from USD 250,000 of grants through Pass it Forward Initiative. 06 Nov 2015
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An ice sledge hockey player skates up to his teammate to celebrate.

Josh Sweeney scored the lone goal in the Sochi 2014 ice sledge hockey gold-medal game to lead the USA to victory.

ⒸGetty Images
By USA Hockey

"Everyone deserves the chance to play hockey and this 'Pass It Forward' initiative helps bring access to hockey to more athletes who want to play the game."

USA Hockey unveiled today the 10 ice sledge hockey programmes that will equally share USD 250,000 in grants provided by Labatt USA through its Pass it Forward initiative.

The funding will assist five newly created programmes this year and five other previously established USA Hockey ice sledge hockey programmes.

"We're grateful to Labatt for providing funding to help further the development of sled hockey," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "The substantial number of applications we received shows the desire all across the country to continue to grow sled hockey. It was not an easy task for our selection committee to settle on the 10 recipients."

"When we began working with USA Hockey to figure out how Labatt could help support sled hockey, we learned that awareness and access are the sport's two biggest challenges," said Lisa Texido, brand manager of Labatt USA. "Everyone deserves the chance to play hockey and this 'Pass It Forward' initiative helps bring access to hockey to more athletes who want to play the game."

Each of the 10 programmes will receive USD 25,000 to be used for items such as sledges, sticks, ice time and uniforms.

Of the 10 programmes selected by USA Hockey, five are new for this season – Eagle Mount-Great Falls, Hero Sports, Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association, Winterhawks Sled Hockey and Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association Lightning Sled Hockey Team.

US National Ice Sledge Hockey Team captain Josh Sweeney is leading the creation of the Winterhawks Sled Hockey Program, while US National Ice Sledge Hockey team members Steve Cash, Billy Hanning and Josh Pauls are members of the DASA St. Louis Blues organisation.

Labatt USA's "Pass It Forward" initiative was created to help in providing access to hockey for everyone. Through the initiative, Labatt Blue is bringing partners together and increasing awareness to ice sledge hockey through national advertising, commercials, promotions, social media and limited edition packs of Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light ice sledge hockey cans.

Highlighting Labatt Blue's sled hockey awareness initiative is its partnership with national sportscaster, John Buccigross, who is serving as a key ambassador. More information can be found at Labatt's website.

Funded programmes:

Boston Shamrocks Sled Hockey

Eagle Mount-Great Falls

Disabled Athlete Sports Association St. Louis Blues

Hero Sports

Palm Beach Tigers

Sharks Sled Hockey

Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association

Rochester Sled Hockey

Rochester Sled Hockey Organization

Winterhawks Sled Hockey

Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association Lightning Sled Hockey Team