Sunday, 28 September 2008

Electronic Mails

I want to use a little time to respond to an important email that I've received, and to post something that might interest readers. I've said before that I like getting email because I know people are reading and, more importantly, following hockey. That's what helps grow the game, and I'm all for hockey's popularity growing. So rather than doing this through the old email system, I thought I'd post this email here so others can see the news. The topic may be relevant to you, especially if you've enjoyed some of the previous articles I've written about sledge hockey. Let's get to that email, and give you all the opportunity to see the news.

From Alison Love: A number of months ago, I sent you an email about the documentary we were producing on Canada's national sledge hockey team. We have just completed it a week ago, and CTV has confirmed an airdate of Saturday, October 4th at 7:00 pm for the premiere!

You can also see more about the documentary at

Please help us get the word out on this dcoumentary. It's a great opportunity to increase awareness of this paralympic sport and to start to build excitement and interest in the athletes and sports of the 2010 Paralympics in Whistler.

I had written an article regarding this movie in March, and I am very interested in seeing this movie.

If you have a CTV feed, I suggest tuning in on Friday evening. I will be doing that, and I really want to see the story of the Canadian Sledge Hockey Team. From the trailer on their site, it looks like a great story. I'll be tuning in for sure!

Thanks for the email update, Miss Love!

Now why is this important to me?

With the recent 2008 Beijing Olympics finishing, the Paralympians competed after the able-bodied Olympians in China. There were some amazing stories being written at these 2008 Paralympic Games, yet a lot of the stories went unnoticed by mainstream media. Why? I can't cite specific reasons, but it seems that the Paralympic Games simply aren't "sexy" enough for NBC to devote hundreds of hours of airtime to, especially when Michael Phelps is already back home.

However, with the 2010 Winter Olympics being held in British Columbia, Canada, the hockey-mad citizens of the Great White North should realize that there are three teams competing for Olympic gold medals at the next Olympic Games.

Thanks to Alison Love and David McIlvride, Sledhead will help to expose the "other team" that only a few thousand people know about. The efforts of Miss Love and Mr. McIlvrade in getting this movie on television shows the kind of passion that is required when lesser known teams need exposure. It's this passion that has allowed them to film and capture the efforts of the fifteen men of the Canadian National Sledge Hockey Team, and it's this passion that has allowed them to present it to Canada via a major network. Congratulations are in order for Miss Love and Mr. McIlvrade for their effort and work on this project. Hockey Blog In Canada will be tuning in this upcoming Friday for sure.

While other countries like Norway and Sweden celebrate their sledge hockey teams, it's nice to see Canada recognizing an outstanding group of athletes that have been recognized as one of the top teams in the history of the game. Sledge hockey is a fast-paced, exciting game, and it deserves recognition in this hockey-mad country.

With the game growing both in Canada and the United States in terms of its popularity, sledge hockey looks to ride this wave into the 2010 Olympics. Charlottetown, PEI has been selected as the host for the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, which will take place from November 18-22, 2008. The top four sledge hockey teams in the world - Canada, Norway, Japan, and the USA - will compete for the World Sledge Hockey Challenge Championship. The top four teams were the top teams at the World Championships earlier this year, and have been invited to this event. Canada is the defending champion, having won in 2007 in Kelowna, BC. The teams will each play three round-robin games, with the top two teams playing for gold on the final day. All games will be played at the CARI Complex in Charlottetown.

The 2009 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship will take place in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic from May 5-16, 2009. Along the way, there are a couple of other events that the teams will take part in:

  • Four Nations Tournament in Nagano, Japan - January 10-17, 2009
  • Sledge Invitational Tournament in Vancouver, BC - Feb. 23-Mar 1, 2009
If you live in or near these locations, I definitely suggest heading down to the rink and checking out the action. You won't be disappointed, I guarantee it. And if your local rink has a team practicing, stick around and watch these guys and girls do their thing. Or, better yet, ask them for a sled and try it out!

Sledge hockey is a wonderful sport, and my thanks and appreciation go out to Alison Love and David McIlvride for their film, Sledhead.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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