Blind Hockey Player, Paralympian Simon Richard


– Molly, do you remember Simon Richard? – I do, he’s an elite goalball player from Dieppe, New Brunswick who did a story on
last summer. – But did you
know he’s also a very talented
hockey player? – I do, and did you know that he’s one
of five players from Atlantic Canada set to compete in this year’s fifth annual
Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament in Toronto from
March 24 to 26. – You’re such
a know it all. – No, I just
like to be in the know, there’s
a difference. Halifax’s Laura
Bane caught up with this
elite athlete. (exciting rhythmic music) – I just love
hockey because I love to be on the ice, I love to skate, I love to handle the puck and make plays
with teammates. – [Laura] Simon’s
practicing on the ice today with his father and the friend (mumbles). Blind hockey is similar to regular hockey with a few adaptations. Pucks are bigger and made of hollow steel and contain ball bearings, making it easier to see and track on the ice. – I started playing regular hockey when I was six years old. – [Laura] Simon’s father, Alcide Richard, says hockey runs
in the family. (loud jingling) – My wife and I, we’ve always thought that sports were important. His mother, Nicole Leblanc-Richard, says Simon is passionate about sports. – Whatever he decides he wants to do, he sets his mind to and he works toward that goal. – [Laura] Although Simon is visually impaired, he grew up playing sports with sighted players. – It forced him to adapt. I think it’s even more important when
you have a child that’s got a challenge, to get him in sports because it should teach him how to cope, not just with the game, but with other players, interacting. (exciting fun music) – [Laura] Hockey
is not the only sport
Simon excels at. – I started goalball when I was nine years old, and it’s been a pretty big part of my life
since then. – [Laura] In 2016, he participated in
a the Paralympic games in Rio as part of the national
goalball team. Jill MacSween plays with Simon on the Canadian National Team, and they’ll both be hitting the ice this March in Toronto. – He works the hardest out of anybody I know. Basically anyway that he can improve himself, I know that Simone is doing all of those things, that he wants to become the absolute best athlete that he can possibly be. (fun rhythmic music) – [Laura] Oliver
Pye, normally one of Simone’s goalball teammates is acting goalie in today’s practice. – Oh, he’s
phenomenal, just he excels at
everything he does with sports, whether it’s hockey, goalball, he puts a lot
of effort into every sport that he plays. – [Woman] Simon trains about 25 hours a week. – For training, I’ve been doing weights, I’ve been doing cardio, really trying to prepare myself for both sports. – [Laura] On top of that, he’s a full time kinesiology student at the University of Moncton. – He’s got something in him, drive, I guess. He doesn’t take no for an answer. People try to kick him down, he gets back up and he comes at it harder so it’s his character. – [Laura] This year marks Simon’s second trip to the select series of the National Blind Hockey Tournament. He’s excited for the future of the sport. – The level of play at the national level, it’s pretty competitive, everybody wants to win. But it’s a lot of fun too, to be with those guys, competing out there. – Good save. – Hopefully
this sport will blossom and we’ll be able to have a national
team soon. – I can’t wait to watch Simon in action at the tournament in the Select Series. He’s a great player and will certainly be an asset for the team. For more information about the tournament, check out
blindicehockey.com.

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