October 26, 2018
Lehigh Valley, Pa. — The Lehigh Valley Phantoms and Phantoms Charities presented by Air Products are excited to announce a new sled hockey team that will begin play inside of PPL Center in November of this year. The team targets youth, ages five through 17, with mobility challenges and will help reinforce the vision that hockey is for everyone.
During the 2017-18 season, Phantoms Charities hosted two Sled Hockey Clinics inside of PPL Center to gauge community interest and spread awareness of the sport. Both were a great success given the turnout of enthusiastic athletes and over 50 community volunteers.
“The Phantoms Charities Board of Directors always had the vision of creating this sled hockey legacy program,” said Jennifer Keeble, Executive Director of Phantoms Charities. “Last season we partnered with USA Hockey to host two sled hockey clinics and we were all impressed by the way the community embraced the events. The smiles on the children’s faces, as well as the tremendous outpouring of support we received, all served as confirmation that we were on the right track.”
The program, which officially launched on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 will help youth with mobility challenges in the Lehigh Valley get out, exercise and, most importantly, have fun.
“Sled hockey is so much more than an adaptive sport for those with mobility challenges,” Keeble said. “It creates a sense of belonging with peer support and the inclusion of being part of a team. Something that many may not have had the opportunity to feel before.”
Children registering for the team will be provided with a sled, pucks, gloves, personalized jersey, helmet and equipment bag. Plus, the athlete’s USA Hockey registration fee will also be covered. The team will also get ice time to practice with coaches inside of PPL Center in downtown Allentown twice a month.
Three volunteer coaches, certified by USA Hockey, as well as a number of volunteers from the community will be on hand at each practice to assist athletes. No experience or knowledge of the game of ice hockey is required to participate.
Interested athletes, or parents of athletes, can contact Jennifer Keeble at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or for more information about the program.