Donation to Spaulding Rehabilitation Network Establishes a New Adaptive Hockey Program in the Region

The sounds of skates rocketing on the ice and pucks smacking into sticks is a common thread at energetic community rinks throughout New England.  For people with disabilities the boards of hockey rinks have often represented barriers to participation. However a new program, The Dr. Bernard R. and Edna M. Sears Adaptive Hockey Program at Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers aims to make the sounds of a hockey sled a common occurrence throughout the Boston Area.

The Dr. Bernard R. and Edna M. Sears Adaptive Hockey Program was created through a generous donation by Edna Sears of Boston. This donation allows the clinical and adaptive sports experts at Spaulding to engage the community with disabilities by introducing the sport of sled hockey for all age levels and abilities. 

“From the time I was at Harvard watching games, the thrill and joy that the sport of hockey can bring to participants, families and fans is unmatched. Contributing to such a worthy organization as Spaulding that will enable people of all abilities to discover this wonderful sport while enhancing their quality of life is something I am very proud of,” said Edna Sears.

The program will begin in early December and run through April by hosting practices and skills sessions. The eventual goal is to foster a wide community of active players to participate in area leagues through The Mass Sled Hockey Initiative, a collaboration of Mass Hockey, Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers, Northeast Passage, Boston Shamrocks, Boston Junior Bruins, Minuteman Flames, the New England Sports Center and the DCR Universal Access Program. 

“This generous donation will help us enhance the lives of so many individuals who gave up their dream of suiting up and playing on the ice again because of an injury as well introduce entirely new people to the sport,” said Medical Director of Spaulding Adaptive Sports Program and Team Physician for the US National Amputee Hockey Team. “We see in our patient populations that engaging in sports they love or discovering new activities creates the confidence to improve their quality of life in all areas in addition to the positive physical fitness aspects sports can provide.”

 The goal of the Dr. Bernard R. and Edna M. Sears Adaptive Hockey Program is to grow the participation of disabled hockey (recreational, league and elite) in the Boston Metro area and Eastern Massachusetts for individuals of all abilities.  Sessions throughout the winter are currently being scheduled with space still available. For more information or to reserve a spot contact Mark Priest of Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers at 877.976.7272 or mpriest1@partners.org.   

I want to thank you for the care and therapy you have given to me. I have come a long way since I first came to Spaulding. I know I will miss my nurses and therapists. I look  leaving Spaulding as a step closer to Graduation Day - the day I can go home. Again, thanks for all your help.

Kathy K.

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