It took a bit of stick-handling; however, after dreaming of gambling hockey as a baby developing up with spina bifida, Kurtis Deveaux, in the end, was given the risk as a grownup.
In 2009, Deveaux launched the Cape Breton Sledgehammers sled hockey group in Sydney, N.S., with his father, Steve, who educates.
Now the father-son duo hopes to launch a minor sled hockey program to offer other children the danger Deveaux in no way had as an infant.
Deveaux, the team’s captain, stated he would never forget the first time he got in a sled.
“It turned into extraordinary. I turned into 21 years antique, so I spent my entire childhood just looking and no longer capable of play, to get at the ice finally, it turned into sincerely, truly cool,” he stated. “I had an absolute blast.”
The Cape Breton Sledgehammers include players with disabilities and in a position-bodied gamer ranging in age from 18 to seventy-two.
JB Mellor played center for the Sledgehammers and changed into lively in several sports earlier than he misplaced his leg due to harm.
‘Part of a team.’
“Disabled people can be a bit solitary sometimes, and if you may be part of a group in which you’ve got able-bodied and disabled human beings, it is a big element to a disabled person to experience part of a group,” stated Mellor. “And that’s the aspect that I love about it most.”
Thomas Odo said the team is like his second circle of relatives.
“I became born with cerebral palsy, and once I become born, the medical doctors told my dad and mom that I could by no means can walk or talk, so being right here right now’s a huge accomplishment for me. It’s a delight issue for me, as nicely.”
The Sledgehammers are supported with the aid of a committed group of parents and volunteers who help out at the rink and perform a little important fundraising. Sleds can cost between $900 and $1,000.
The former Spina Bifida Association in Sydney paid for ten sleds, but organizers approached organizations to buy and sponsor other coasters because the crew grew. The group additionally holds a prime fundraising auction every spring.
Steve Deveaux stated all of the time and effort pay off when the gamers take the ice.
“That’s the distinction,” he stated. “Some of these gamers have in no way been a part of a crew and to look at them grow — now not best at the ice, however, watch them grow inside the dressing room, to take them out of their shells … And the pure joy that they get and their mother and father, I suppose it is fantastic.”
Now the crew wants to offer that possibility to more youthful players as well.
The Sledgehammers have partnered with Glace Bay Minor Hockey, and with economic support from Easter Seals, they desire to launch a minor sled hockey program within the fall.
Now they want players.
The group plans to host a meeting on Saturday at four p.M. At Centre 2 hundred in Sydney, and is encouraging everyone interested in coming out, examine extra, and join up.
“Get in a sled. I don’t care how speedy or how sluggish you’re; we will get you hooked,” stated Steve Deveaux. “The handiest issue we ask is that you laugh.”