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Local Hockey Program Gives Opportunities in a Supportive Environment for Individuals with Disabilities

by on March 05, 2018 5:00 AM

Happy Valley Special Hockey Association provides stand-up and sled teams dedicated to children and young adults who have physical and intellectual disabilities. 

Cindy Wolf, now the association's director, saw a need for inclusion and decided to put the program together three years ago.

"A big boost for my two kids who played hockey, especially my oldest one, he didn't have a good sports outlet because of his disabilities," Wolf said.

She said that lacing up a pair of skates, heading out on the ice and playing without contact is a form of therapeutic technique for many of the players.

Studies show that participation in sports for children with disabilities increases self-esteem, physical fitness and ability to socialize.

Julie Hull said she's seen tremendous improvement for her son, Caden.

"The hockey team has helped with his balance, his endurance," she said. "Just today the practice has been 40 minutes or so and he's only come off the ice twice for a minute each, which is amazing."

The team receives ice time and donated equipment from Pegula Ice Arena and grants from other organizations, and the coaches are volunteers who have a passion for the sport.

Centre County Report's Liana Rizzi has more on the story. For more information on Happy Valley Special Hockey Association, visit its website here.

This video is produced by and for Centre County Report and shared through a partnership with

The Centre County Report is produced by students and faculty from Penn State's College of Communications. It is designed to serve a dual purpose. It is a source of news and information to the residents of Centre County.
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