Charlottetown – Billy Bridges, paralympian and world champion for Team Canada’s sledge hockey team made a special appearance in Charlottetown today to help launch ticket sales for the 2008 World Sledge Hockey Challenge, November 18-22, 2008.
Born in Summerside, Bridges is no stranger to the Maritimes as Team Canada recently held a training camp in New Brunswick. Looking forward to returning home to Prince Edward Island for the November event, he said, “It’s really exciting to see this event held on the Island, giving my friends and family the opportunity to watch what I do, as well as see the best sledge hockey in the world.”
The World Sledge Hockey Challenge is an annual event owned by Hockey Canada and features the top four power houses in sledge hockey: Japan, USA, Norway, and Canada. The City of Charlottetown was awarded the rights to the eight-game tournament in September which sees all games taking place at the CARI Complex – MacLauchlan Arena. Full event ticket packages, which include a ticket to each preliminary game and the finals, are on sale for $45 each at the CARI Complex Control Desk.
Mayor Clifford Lee, who was also on hand for today’s launch, commended the Local Organizing Committee, Hockey PEI and Paralympics PEI for bringing such a major international event to the City of Charlottetown. “Not only does the World Sledge Hockey Challenge inject dollars into the local economy, but this event will expose our residents to the fastest growing Paralympic sport and the most exciting one played on ice,” he added.
During today’s announcement, organizers unveiled the schedule, highlighting the fact that all Team Canada’s preliminary games will be played at 7 pm. Other ways for Islanders to watch the action include a team ticket package option that, for $99, features 16 tickets for players and 4 tickets for coaches /chaperones. Also, the corporate community is being solicited to purchase packages and sponsor the event. There is no admission for children under the age of 6.
The event schedule and additional ticket information can be obtained on the Hockey Canada website at www.hockeycanada.ca/wshc
ABOUT SLEDGE HOCKEY
Sledge hockey is the Paralympic version of Ice hockey and, since its debut on the Paralympics program at the 1994 Lillehammer Paralympic Winter Games, it is quickly becoming one of the biggest attractions for spectators at the Paralympic Winter Games. It is fast-paced, highly physical and played by male athletes with a physical disability in the lower part of the body.
The sport of sledge hockey, an innovative team sport that incorporates the same rules and discipline structure as regular hockey, was invented by three Swedish wheelchair athletes on a frozen lake in Stockholm in 1961 and like hockey, each team has six players on the ice, including the goaltender. Teams are comprised of a maximum of 15 male players per team, including two goaltenders. To be eligible to compete at the Paralympics, athletes must have a disability of permanent nature in the lower part of the body that precludes their participation in standing hockey.
Sledge Hockey is governed by the IPC (International Paralympic Committee) through the International Paralympic Ice Hockey Committee. It follows the rules of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) with a few modifications. Athletes site strapped into a metal frame that rests on two regular-sized ice-skate blades. The sledge is raised high enough to allow the puck to pass underneath. Athletes use two 75 cm long hockey sticks, with spikes on one end and blades on the other. The spike is used to propel the sledge across the ice, and the slightly curved blade is used to handle the puck. The goaltender may have an additional pick at the base end of his stick and may use an additional stick with a blade or a trapper globe with teeth.
THANKS TO OUR EVENT SPONSORS:
- City of Charlottetown
- Province of Prince Edward Island
- Hockey PEI
- CARI Complex
- Delta Prince Edward Hotel
Player Sponsor Level
- The Guardian
- Ocean 100/ K-Rock 105.5
Fan Sponsor Level
- Revolution Media
- Beacon Sign
- TRIUS Tours
Friend Sponsor Level
- Kwik Kopy Design & Print Centre
- Confederation Bridge