Unique Vernon hockey team allows young players to develop at own pace

Click to play video: 'Adaptive hockey league brings sport to all' Adaptive hockey league brings sport to all
An inclusive hockey team in Vernon is making sure that kids of all abilities are able to take part in the game. Sydney Morton sat in on a practice to learn more about the league – Jan 22, 2022

The Vernon Scorehawks is helping make Canada’s favourite sport more accessible because the coaches of this team meet the players where they are.

The Vernon team is one of many throughout the Thompson-Okanagan and the Lower Mainland that provides a safe space for players of diverse abilities. For more than a decade the Scorehawks have been making sure kids from the age of five to 15 can get on the ice and have fun with the guidance of multiple coaches to give each player the attention and guidance they need.

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“Whether you like it or not minor hockey is competitive and it gets competitive early. This program lets them develop at their own pace. We’ve had kids that transition to minor hockey,” said Sherry Demetrick, former Scorehawks manager.

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Eight-year-old Kai Alexander has been on the team for just three weeks and has discovered two things that make him a great teammate.

“Scoring goals and skating,” said Alexander.

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A few players that have aged out of the program have returned to the rink to help out.

“We’ve been on the team for a very long time. [We started] when we were little boys,” said Aidan Demetrick former Scorehawks player.

The first half of practice is a warm-up. In the second half players can take part in a scrimmage.

The season runs through February and the team is still accepting new players. No experience is required. Financial assistance for gear and registration is also available.

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