VANCOUVER — As many Canadians know, playing hockey can mean more than just athleticism and teamwork.
“It’s partially about hockey for these youth but it’s really about life. Getting the chance to use hockey as a catalyst to break down other barriers in their lives and also build confidence,” Mark DeMontis, the president and founder of Courage Canada – a charity that leads the development of blind hockey – told Global News.
For the past week, young athletes from across the country have been taking part in a hockey camp at Burnaby Eight Rinks. They are all blind or partially-sighted and track the puck with their ears.
The non-profit that organizes the camp started in 2008 with the goal of implementing programming across the country that would allow youth with vision impairments to participate in Canada’s national sport. According to Courage Canada’s website, they, “recognize the power of the sport of Blind Hockey as a catalyst for social change, and aim to inspire all Canadians from every walk of like to adapt and overcome any and all obstacles or challenges you find in your way.”
“Playing hockey is amazing. It gives you a real feel of sportsmanship and encouragement seeing so many people supporting you out here,” Philip Edwards, a program participant, told Global News.
–With files from Jennifer Palma.
© Shaw Media, 2014