Sled Hockey has come to Oakland

BORP, Sled Hockey, Oakland Ice Center, disabled= 

Hello sports fans.  With so much focus on basketball over the years I want to make sure that everyone knows about the other sports BORP offers kids in the Bay Area.  Today I want to talk hockey.  Sled Hockey to be exact.  

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Sled Hockey is a version of Ice Hockey where people with physical disabilities participate on the ice in specially designed sleds.  These sleds allow the athletes to skate around using shortened hockey sticks with ice picks attached to the back.  

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Using the back side of the stick, the athlete can maneuver themselves up and down the ice.  

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Then you simply use the other end of the stick to handle the puck.  

You can get the same type of movement and freedom on the ice as able-bodied skating and the physical nature of the sport has made it a favorite of some of the kids involved.  Zach and Solomon take every opportunity they can to hit the coaches as often as possible.  

BORP’s sled hockey program came about after a few years of discussion with the Oakland Ice Center.  They graciously dedicated ice time and resources to get things going, and assisted us in securing grants for equipment.  The Kristi Yamaguchi “Always Dream” Foundation kicked in and purchased the first set of sled for BORP to use.  

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Additional support has come from the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) and more equipment is on the way.   

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National Hockey League Player's Association

 

The goal of the NHLPA is to provide opportunities for anyone to experience Hockey and they support programs at every level.  

Members of the San Jose Sharks have dropped by to skate with the kids and help get the program going. 

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Willie O'ree, NHLPA, BOPR, Oakland Ice Center, Sled Hockey

Willie O'Ree visits Oakland Ice Center

 

We have even had the great Willie O’Ree drop by to visit during one of the sessions.
Sled Hockey is one of the sports of the Winter Paralympic Games and the US National team is the defending PAralympic Champion. 

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Like any other sport, it is what you make of it.  I am hoping that everyone will take the opportunity to experience the program we are offering.  In the future we are hoping to have a youth team that will represent BORP in competitions around the country.  On Nov. 14, 2010 the Oakland Firefighters will play against the Oakland Police Officers in the 3rd annual Guns ‘n’ Hoses event at Oakland Ice Center which will benefit BORP’s Youth Sled Hockey Program.  See you on the ice!  

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2010 Wheelchair Basketball season about to start

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BORP Basketball

September is here and now that Opening Day has come and gone, we turn our attention towards the new season.  The 2010-2011 NWBA season has started and we have huge goals for the kids this year. 

NWBA, BORP, Bay Cruisers

2010 Champions

The Prep team is the defending National Champion and looking to repeat. 

NWBA, BORP, Bay Cruisers

Koda leads the Prep Team

Many members of the team are returning, including Koda Inman-Ahlstrom, the MVP of last years’ National Tournament.  In all, five members of the Championship team will be returning to defend the throne.   

The Varsity team is rebounding from a difficult rebuilding season last year.  Some new blood and more experience, combined with an aggressive off-season training schedule has the team ready to make a run at advancing to Nationals. 

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James Bohnett

James Bohnett will be leading the team into battle and the team will benefit from Chris Rodriguez, who moved up this year from the Prep team. 

NWBA, BORP, wheelchair basketball, chris rodriguez

Chris prepares to shoot.

Chris was a member of last years’ National Championship team and was the MVP of the Championship Game.

The Varsity team will open the season October 23 in Paso Robles, CA.  The team will face off against the Ranch Renegades, the defending Western Conference Champions. 

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Renegades prepare to defend

This is a combined tournament where the Bay Cruisers will be playing alongside the Road Warriors throughout the weekend.  The Road Warriors are the official wheelchair basketball team of the Golden State Warriors.

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Sam Craven named to US NAtional Track & Field Team

 

Sam Craven, shot put, paralympics, BORP, track & field, wheelchair sports Sam prepares to throw

 

Everyone that knows BORP knows Sam.  From the little 7-year old that rolled in the Bay-to-Breakers to the mountain of a man that everyone simply calls “Big Sam”. 

 

Sam Craven, BORP Sam growing up with BORP

 

He has participated in everything BORP has to offer, past and present. 

Sam sled hockey, BORP Sam practicing Sled Hockey

 

He helped lead the Bay Cruisers to two JV National Championships, one with a broken nose.  He has been a crash test dummy on the basketball court and has broken more frames than anyone I know.  On weekends when he has time you can still find him in the gym helping out with the Prep Team.

wheelchair basketball, BORP Sam prepares to dunk (okay, not really)

 

Recently he has been a little busy.  He has been training, attending camps, and training some more with the US National Track & Field Team.  He has perfected his technique in the Shot put and is one of the top throwers in the country.  We are all excited to say that Sam Craven has just qualified for the US Paralympic Team for Track & Field. He will be competing in the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, January 21-30, 2011.  Congratulations goes out to the entire Craven family because we all know that behind every great athlete is a great group of people who get you to practice, patch you back up, dust you off, and help you become the best you can be.

 

From all of us at BORP – Congratulations Sam!
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BORP is in the news

Hey folks.  I just wanted to let you all know that BORP made it into the Northern California Olympians newsletter this week as they helped us promote Opening Day.
Northern California Olympians

Northern California Olympians

 

Take a look at the newsletter here and if you know any golfers let them know about the golf tournament coming up fast.  You can get the flier and more information on the event here.
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Opening Day was AWESOME!

Paralympics, sport club, wheelchair sports, wheelchair basketball, BORP

US Paralympics

I will have a more detailed account and add more photos as they come in but I wanted to share this right away.

What an amazing day.  We were able to show everyone the different sports BORP has to offer and let those folks that had the guts to try something new the opportunity to play against the BORP athletes. 

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Family members take the court

Parents, families, friends, Board Members, Partnering Organizations, and more showed up.  There were new kids and BORP grads. 

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New kid on the block

Goalball, Prep Wheelchair Basketball, and Power Soccer set the tone for the day. 

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Bay Cruisers surround guest

When the Varsity Wheelchair Basketball team went out they simply rolled over the competition. 

BORP Bay Cruisers, wheelchair basketball, paralympic sport club,

James takes control of the situation

It was a fantastic turn-out and so good to see everyone from all the programs in one place at one time.
There was one moment that really stood out for me.  During the Prep wheelchair basketball demonstration there was a pass to JoJo.  His chair was turned a little and even though he was close enough to the basket to take a shot, it really would not have been a good shot to take. He looked at the basket, turned, passed the ball to one of his teammates and Dallas made the shot.  So many times in that moment a kid will just take the shot because they just get excited. 

This was a perfect basketball decision and it was great watching those kids work together. 

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End of the Day

So, for all of you that were there, thanks for coming out and taking part in the event.  So, now I’m curious.  What was your favorite Opening Day moment?

All photos courtesy: Joe Carrow

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Opening Day is finally here this weekend.  What a great way to start off the new season and build from where we left off last year.  This season the Bay Cruisers Prep team will be defending the National Championship.  The Varsity team had a rebuilding season last year and now they are back on track.  

Over the summer the kids worked their butts off with an aggressive cross-training program to get ready for the season.  I started thinking about new challenges for the kids.  I wanted something that would keep them motivated through the summer, keep them involved with our already scheduled programs, and be challenging enough that it would actually take some work to accomplish.    I also wanted it to be something measurable so we could repeat the task in the future and see if we are able to improve.

I designed the “Energy Challenge” as an event that challenged the kids to be as active as possible in BORP activities including adapted cycling, wheelchair basketball, roadwork, and sled hockey.  I used equipment that we were able to get through a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and tracked the distance and calories the kids were burning through the summer.  We tracked the activities they did and kept track of the calories they were burning through the summer.  The results were amazing!  We had 40 kids take part in the challenge and after the three-month tracking period was completed, we totaled the numbers and here is what we found:

  • The kids rode adapted bikes a total of 1185 miles
  • pushed their wheelchairs 422 miles on the basketball court
  • pushed an additional 40 miles on the streets
  • played over 30 hours of Sled Hockey. 

 All totaled the kids in the BORP Youth Sports Program burned approximately 239900 calories. 

That’s not all..  We finished off the summer with our 2nd annual Truck Pull.  This is designed to let the kids see how much power they really do have and also of an exercise on teamwork.  The kids team up and pull a truck across a basketball court.  You can see the Truck Pull here   This has been one of my favorite events because the kids that do it get to go to school and when people ask them what they did last week they can say, “I pulled a truck.  What did you do”?  That is pretty awesome.

So, as you can see, the kids are ready, we are ready, and like I said earlier, Opening Day is this weekend.  Come on out and be part of the best program on earth.

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