ISN – (Burnaby, BC) Courage Canada Hockey for the Blind is teaming up with the Vancouver Canucks Alumni (BC Hockey Benevolent Association) to showcase the rapidly growing parasport of Blind Hockey at Burnaby 8 Rinks next Wednesday, March 18th. The event will be a dream come true for many of the members of Vancouver Eclipse Blind Hockey Team who grew up idolizing the Canucks, and who will now have the opportunity to compete in a game alongside their hockey heroes.
From 5:00PM – 6:00PM, Courage Canada will hold an open learn-to-skate and try Blind Hockey session for participants of all ages from across the lower mainland who are blind or partially sighted. Immediately afterward from 6:00PM – 7:10PM, the Vancouver Eclipse and the Vancouver Canucks Alumni will join forces to play a Blind Hockey game.
The sport of Blind Hockey is played by athletes who are legally blind with approximately 10% vision or less using an adapted puck that makes noise and is bigger and slower than a traditional puck. The sport uses some slightly modified rules; face-offs begin with the puck on the ice, goals may only be scored in the bottom 3 feet of the net, and teams must complete a pass in the offensive zone prior to being eligible to score. Otherwise, it is immediately recognizable as Canada’s national winter sport.
The game will feature 15 Blind Hockey players who will be divided among the two teams and will have the unique opportunity to show their game to teammates from the Vancouver Canucks Alumni who will be experiencing the sport for the first time as they play along. Planned Canuck favorites include Cliff Ronning, Dave Babych, Jyrki Lumme and of course more!
The Vancouver Eclipse Blind Hockey consists of players from BC communities including Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Richmond, Langley, Maple Ridge, and Abbotsford. They will be joined by graduates of this past summer’s Courage Canada National Youth Blind Hockey Camp who will be coming from Chilliwack, Campbell River, Victoria, and Kelowna.
Members of the media are welcome to speak with Courage Canada Founder and President Mark DeMontis, Vancouver Eclipse Founder and Courage Canada Vice-President Gary Steeves, as well as all of the athletes to get their thoughts on the game.
In order to meet the demand for programming in the rapidly growing sport of Blind Hockey in Western Canada, Courage Canada will announce the founding of the Western Blind Hockey Tournament, set to take place this fall in Metro Vancouver.
Courage Canada programs in BC are supported by presenting partner AMI – Accessible Media Inc., national program partner the CNIB – Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and provincial partner BC Blind Sports.
Location: Burnaby 8 Rinks, 6501 Sprott Street. Burnaby, BC
Date: Wednesday, March 18th
5:00PM – 6:00PM – Open Learn to Skate & Try Blind Hockey on Rink 2
6:00PM – 7:10PM – Vancouver Canucks Alumni & Vancouver Eclipse Blind Hockey Game on Rink 1
About Courage Canada:
Courage Canada Hockey for the Blind is a national registered charity that leads the development of the sport of Blind Hockey and provides children and youth with the opportunity to learn to skate and try Blind Hockey. Courage Canada youth programs have positively impacted the lives of over 500 students across eight provinces and territories.