Opportunities to participate in team sports for people with disabilities are very limited. A team sport is where skills like teamwork, goal-setting, pursuit of excellence and other behaviours necessary for success in the workplace are developed. Para Ice Hockey is one such sport. There is a sense of camaraderie, a sense of belonging and accomplishment that comes from being part of a team.
Social, physical and mental health benefits are equally or more important as self-esteem, social isolation, sense of well-being, are already lower than the general able-bodied population. It is important to reduce the risks of developing secondary conditions such as fatigue, obesity, diabetes, some cancers. When people with newly acquired disabilities are discharged from hospital with their wheelchair or prosthesis, their rehab is just beginning. Sport can be a vital part of this process. It can see an improvement in mood, reduction of anxiety, feelings of increased self-worth, better body image. New friendships, countering stigmatisation, health improvements, reduced risk of chronic health conditions are all added benefits.
Para Ice Hockey is an inclusive sport, enabling those with and without a physical disability to participate together. This is ideal for schools, as all students can participate, and for family and friends as everyone can participate. There are very few team sports which offer this level of inclusiveness.
Your tax deductible donation will go towards growing Para Ice Hockey in Australia and allow us to fund items such as equipment, ice time, coaching, community come and try days and help us to engage with schools and communities to provide a well rounded sporting education.