Sledge hockey (known as sled hockey in the United States) is a sport that was designed to allow participants who have a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey. Ice sledge hockey was invented in the early 1960s in Stockholm, Sweden at a rehabilitation center. It is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games.
Based on Ice Sledge Hockey, Inline Sledge Hockey is played to the same rules as inline hockey (essentially ice hockey played off ice using inline skates) and is played in a sports hall and not on ice. Inline Sledge Hockey was originally the brainchild of British Paralympian Matthew Lloyd; however, it has been developed though the dedication and commitment of several key organizations including the Hull Stingrays Elite League Ice Hockey Team, sports wheelchair manufacturers RGK, the British Sledge Hockey Association, Wheelpower, Paralympians United, and the British Inline Puck Hockey Association.
There is no classification points system dictating who can be involved in play within Inline Sledge Hockey unlike other team sports such as Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby. Inline Sledge Hockey is being developed to allow everyone, regardless of whether they have a disability or not, to compete up to the World Championship level based solely on talent and ability. This makes Inline Sledge Hockey truly inclusive. Equipment is exactly the same as for inline hockey with the exception of the sledge and an additional stick.
The first games of Inline Sledge Hockey were played within the Veterans Inline Puck Hockey Tournament held at Bisley, Surrey, England on 19 and 20 December 2009. The games were played between the Hull Stingrays (captained by Nigel Wright) and Grimsby Redwings (captained by Natalie Calthorpe).
Love Hockey Ireland are proud to be the first organisation to introduce the sport to Northern Ireland, thanks to the funding of our S.T.A.R programme which financed through the EU’s PEACE lll Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body and delivered by the Southern Partnership, we are purchasing 8 Sledges to kick start the programme. We recently have appointed a new voluntary Sledge Hockey Development Officer Sean Eoin Mc Caffrey, along with Sean Eoin we plan to grow the sport over the coming years.
We are keen to engage with youth groups across both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, For More Information please call our Development Officer on 07779297414 or contact us by email here