Power Hockey

This is an

AMI This Week Short Cut. WOMAN:
I’m Viviane Forest for
Accessible Media.
Power hockey is the game
of ball hockey
adapted for people who use
electric wheelchairs.
Every week, players, coaches
and fans head to a local gym
in Calgary to experience
the sport.
My name is Kevin Lawson,
and I’m Director of Operations for the Calgary
Power Hockey League. Well, the league’s been around,
probably, for 30 years or so. I just think, when it started, we had the right
group of people. We had that core group
that were really into it, and it just grew from there. Hi, my name is Nathan Grossklaus
and I play power hockey for the Calgary Power
Hockey League. VIVIANE:
Do you need to use
special equipment? NATHAN:
Some people wear protective
eye-wear. But for the part, it’s whatever
people feel most comfortable in. VIVIANE:
Do you play with a different
ball than floor hockey? NATHAN:
A wiffle ball is what we use. So, it just doesn’t hurt
nearly as much if you get smacked
in the face, so… It’s, uh, like tennis ball size,
all plastic, with holes in it. (Whistle blowing) This is a floor ball stick, so in this case it’s thicker
than a normal hockey stick. It’s all plastic, with holes
within it– kind of idea. It’s very easy to manipulate And very light as well,
the stick, in general. So, this is easily under
a quarter pound, so it’s very, very light. We have most
of the hockey rules. There’s some of them
that don’t apply, in this case,
we don’t have icing. But then, there’s also penalties
like reckless driving, you know, you don’t quite have
that in normal NHL hockey. An example would be someone
going full tilt and t-boning someone
and flipping the chair. MAN:
My name is Will Jones
and I coach The Machine in the Calgary Power
Hockey League. I’ve been around the league
for– uh, this will
be my fourth year. My son started playing
four years ago. VIVIANE:
As a coach, do you have to do
some mechanic stuff, helping the guys
with their chairs? WILL:
Yeah, we do. And a lot of the players don’t
have caregivers, or aides, or somebody
who comes with them. They come by HandiBus,
so they need some, you know, slight adjustments. Attach their sticks for some– some players play with their
stick attached, some play with it free-hand. Some will have a tray on their
chair that has to come off. Help them take their coats off
and things like that, and just get them
ready to go, but once their
on the floor it’s– other than fixing a stick, if
they break it, that’s about it. (Cheering) I love it. Like I say, I’ve coached minor
hockey in the past for my other kids growing up, and this is,
by far, more rewarding. We don’t tend to have
the politics that regular
minor hockey does. These guys just come and play,
and don’t really complain. VIVIANE:
Usually less ego too, huh? Yeah, absolutely.
There’s definitely less ego. (Chuckling)
There’s a little bit, though. MAN:
My name is Michael Falconer. I play power hockey and
I’m on the team The Machines. I play forward centre. VIVIANE:
And why did you choose
wheelchair hockey? MICHAEL:
It’s competitive. VIVIANE:
So do you think that most of
the people are pretty friendly? MICHAEL:
We’re all pretty civil
with each other, but, you know, there’s definitely
rivalries that happen. Like, nobody really
wants to lose. WILL:
It’s a phenomenal sport. I think one
of the biggest things that people who aren’t part
of it, they don’t realize until they come watch it,
is how competitive it is. As soon as you hear it’s a
handicap or modified type sport, they think it’s everybody come
out and just have fun, but this is
a very competitive league. The playoffs
are very important, the championship’s
very important. These guys play really,
really hard all the time. And from what I can see, the guys just absolutely look
forward to every Saturday. Like, this is their chance to
be– they’re part of a team– to be like everybody else. VIVIANE:
For more information about the
Calgary Power Hockey League,
visit…For Accessible Media in
Calgary, I’m Viviane Forest.

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