9:00am when I arrived at the rink, there was a practice underway for the Elite level. The players were unbelievable to watch. Obviously very skilled as they maneuvered their sleds with intensity and purpose. Just the sound of the sleds turning sharply let you know how much power was going into those moves. I was then getting very excited and couldn’t wait to get out there and give it a try.
When I got on the ice, everyone was so enthusiastic and happy to help and share their experience. I had the privilege to stay with a para hockey player from the Canadian National Team, Raphaëlle Tousignant.
When getting on the ice, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I tipped over almost instantly trying to propel myself forward and hundreds of times after that. Constantly laughing at myself because I couldn’t get myself back up. It didn’t take long before I was getting the hang of pushing myself up and staying balanced on my blades and starting again.
During practice we did a few drills to get comfortable with our sledges and the handling of the puck. We then split the team in two and played a scrimmage game. The scrimmage added a whole other element of fun – LOVED IT.
Once the buzzer rang, I was disappointed because it was over. But I knew I couldn’t wait to get back on the ice again.
It’s been a month that I’ve been practicing with the team and every time I get on the ice, a sense of confidence hits me. I’ve been slowly progressing and getting more comfortable with my sled, stick handling and shooting the puck. I cannot wait to grow more as an athlete and in the sport.
Huge thank you to my coach, teammates and friends, who’ve took me under their wing and have been continuously pushing me.
In hoping no tournaments get canceled this season – I’m definitely looking forward to my very first sledge hockey tournament this season.
PS: I 100% recommend everyone to give sledge hockey a try.
See you soon,