The IM ABLE Foundation hosted a Sled Hockey Demo Day at the Reading Royals’ Santander Arena on Saturday, December 27th. The goal of this event was to invite individuals with disabilities who had never had the opportunity to try out Sled Hockey, the chance to test out this exciting sport.
With the help of the Palmyra Black Knights Youth Sled Hockey team, lead by Sal Montagna, IM ABLE was able to get 15 individuals into sleds! The Black Knights brought out 10 extra pieces of different sized equipment so that all individuals could give sled hockey a try. They also brought out 30 of their own adaptive players to demonstrate how a sled hockey game works and show all those, who were testing out the ice for the first time, how to skate!
This event was a huge success and one of the first times individuals in the Reading area had a chance to see and try out sled hockey. We had over 60 spectators at the event just taking it all in!
Tom Matroni, one of IM ABLE’s athletes, had not been on the ice since 1986. Over 28 years ago, Tom was in a freak motorcycle accident that left him in a chair. Before the accident he was an avid ice hockey player and spent most of his free time in the winter developing his skills on the ice. Because of the work of IM ABLE, Tom was able to get on the ice for the first time in 28 years!
“Being back on the ice was an awesome feeling, it was great to be out of my chair and to be able to skate around and see others enjoy a sport that means so much to me,” Tom said. Tom went on to mention, “Even their coach was on the ice and giving me some pointers! What a fun experience to have everyone out on the ice together!”
Tom, who is already enrolled in the IM ABLE adaptive fitness program at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, is looking forward to pursuing sled hockey on a greater scale. We look forward to seeing him back on the ice soon!
Thanks to the partnership between IM ABLE, the Reading Royals and the Palmyra Black Knights, we look forward to hosting more of these exciting events and getting more individuals up and moving!
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