Bowling Green, Ky. (WBKO) --- Over the weekend, the Nashville Sled Preds came out to SOKY Ice Rink to demonstrate the adaptive sport of sled hockey.
Adaptive sports allow athletes with physical disabilities to compete on an equal playing field. Sled hockey follows most of the same rules of able body hockey; however, sled hockey does feature different equipment. In sled hockey, players are strapped into a special sled that sits on top of two skate blades. The players then use two shortened hockey sticks with picks at the end of each stick to move along the ice.
"We've welcomed the Nashville Sled Preds," said Cameron Levis, the Special Populations Instructor with Bowling Green Parks and Recreation. "Just to provide the community with a little demonstration and a kind of snapshot of what the Paralympic sport of shed hockey's all about."
The goal of the demonstration was to educate the Bowling Green community not only on sled hockey but adaptive sports as a whole.
"There's a lot of people that don't know about adaptive sports," said William Wagoner, a second-year member of the Sled Preds. "So when we come out and we're able to put on something like this and show everybody, it opens eyes to a lot of people."
"There's a lot of people out there that are disabled that don't know what we're doing," said William Zayas, a sixth-year member of the Sled Preds. "They don't know about sled hockey or the other adaptive sports."
As the adaptive sports community grows, Levis is hopeful sled hockey will come to Bowling Green to stay.
"It will be interesting to see what kind of response we get," Levis said. "For now I think it's just great for our community to learn different sports that people with disabilities can play."
Those who participated in the demonstration wanted everyone who came out to know that a disability does not define them.
"The sky is the limit," said Arne Roaldsand, a four-year player for the Sled Preds. There is nothing that you can't do. Just look at what you can do and pursue that."
"Everybody has abilities beyond that disability," Levis said.
The Nashville Sled Preds are sponsored by the National Wheelcats and feature three adult teams and one junior team. The Sled Preds work with players from all skill levels, from beginner to Paralympian.
To find out more information on the Sled Preds and all the adaptive sports sponsored by National Wheelcats, go to their website at www.nationalwheelcats.org