The Pasadena Maple Leafs Special Needs Hockey Club meets on most Saturday nights and gives kids the chance to build skills, get exercise and make connections with coaches, players and volunteers. Being able to skate isn't even required, and all protective gear and equipment are available free of charge. There is a $35 fee to join U.S.A. Hockey, which gives players the benefit of insurance protection. The players work on drills like skating and shooting but the rougher aspects of ice hockey like checking are not allowed. The coed players ages 7 and up have various conditions, such as Tourette syndrome, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism.
It can be challenging for any parent to let their child try something new, but special needs parents may be even more hesitant to allow their kids to take risks. The team was formed with help from Crissy Finney, a special needs mom who understands how hard it can be for parents. She says the kids really take to it and flourish. Players are given one-on-one support if necessary, and typical players from the Maple Leafs come out to volunteer.
To sign up email email@example.com or call 626-765-7400.