New England Sled Hockey Tournament returns to Amelia Rink
WESTFIELD – Amelia Park Ice Arena in Westfield is proud to announce that they will be hosting the 16th Annual New England Sled Hockey Invitational Tournament May 2 to 4.
The tournament, hosted for the 12th time at Amelia Park Ice Arena, will consist of adult and junior divisions competing throughout the weekend from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on May 2 and 3 and championship games on May 4 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Attendance to the tournament is free and will showcase more than 200 athletes and coaches from eight states and Canada. Past and present Paralympians, including 2014 gold medalist Taylor Chace, will be participating.
“This tournament is truly amazing and really represents the mission of our rink,” Carole Appleton, executive director of Amelia Park Ice Arena, said. “We are so proud to host these athletes, their families and friends once again at our facility.”
The Pioneer Valley will have two teams of their own team participating – the Springfield Sliders in the junior division, and the Western Mass Knights in the adult division.
The Sliders and the Knights practice weekly at Amelia Park.
The weekend tournament not only includes competition by athletes but opportunities for fans to interact with the athletes as well. Informal meet and greets with athletes will take place each day courtesy of Women’s Law Enforcement Association (WLEA). The rink fundraises throughout the year to cover all tournament and ice fees for the teams.
Sled hockey, or sledge hockey as it is known internationally, is a sport that was designed to allow participants who have a physical disability to play the game of ice hockey. Sled hockey was invented in the early 1960s in Stockholm, Sweden, at a rehabilitation center. It is currently one of the most popular sports in the Paralympic Games.
Amelia Park Ice Arena is an ice arena/sports complex and memorial garden, financed by the late Westfield philanthropist, Albert F. Ferst, in memory of his wife Amelia. The Albert & Amelia Ferst Operating Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit entity, was formed in 1998, with the expressed purpose of building a recreational facility and garden in her memory.
Those interested in being a part of this event should contact Appleton at 568-2503.