Six Nations “sledger” hoping to compete at 2018 Paralympics

SIX NATIONS – Six Nations Cole Martin won’t let a serious injury stop him from competing.

Martin plays sledge hockey with Team Ontario of the Ontario Sledge Hockey Association (OSHA), Canadian Development Team. In early September Martin will be fighting for a spot on the Canadian National Sledge hockey team that will be attending the Paralympics in PyeongChang Korea in 2018.

The Ontario Sledge Hockey Association (OSHA) is the governing body for sledge hockey in Ontario, representing more than 20 clubs and 400 plus players located across most of Ontario. It is a registered non-profit organization, an associate member of the Ontario Hockey Federation and a member of Hockey Canada.

OSHA runs three regular season leagues, Junior Sledge Development, Intermediate and Premier, offering competitive and development opportunities to players at all levels of play from beginner to elite. In addition OSHA runs Sledge Team Ontario (STO) in conjunction with the Quest for Gold government funded program for the development of elite sledge hockey players.

In its role as Ontario’s Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) for sledge hockey, coordinates and organizes sledge hockey participation in the Ontario Parasport Winter Games (OPWG) and the Ontario Winter Games (OWG).

The organization also sanctions two major sledge hockey tournaments each year: one in Mississauga in November and one in London in January. These tournaments have attracted teams from across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

OSHA’s Mission, Vision and Value Statements reflect the organization’s dedication and commitment to the ongoing development of players and of the sport.

Sledge Hockey is an exciting sport for people with special needs. The same rules are followed as in ice hockey, with six players on the ice, including a goalie. Players sit on a sledge, which is a narrow platform with skate blades attached to the bottom, and propel themselves using two specially constructed hockey sticks that have picks on the end. Players wear full hockey gear and are strapped onto the sledges. The sledges can be adapted to meet the individual needs of each player.

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