Boston, MA – On Saturday, January 23rd, as part of the NHL's “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative, Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference participated in a Bruins sled hockey clinic.
Sled hockey was developed as a way to allow athletes with disabilities to have the opportunity to play ice hockey. Children ranging in abilities and ages 6-16 were invited to practice their skills and play alongside the best in the sport.
Ference, a sled hockey rookie, said he was surprised to learn how difficult the game can be.
“It was very, very difficult and I felt very, very vulnerable,” said the veteran NHL blueliner with a chuckle.
He even went on to say that he hopes to have the rest of his Bruins teammates out on sleds sometime soon, so they can experience firsthand the sport that has opened up so many possibilities on the ice rink for so many people.
The program, hosted at the Steriti Memorial Arena in Boston’s North End, included a sled hockey clinic by Bruins alumni Gary Doak, Rick Middleton, Bobby Miller, Tommy Songin and Bob Sweeney, as well as the U.S. National Sled Hockey team.
The children who participated are also involved in Unified Sports Programs and World T.E.A.M Sports, organizations both dedicated to inclusion and adaptation for all aspiring athletes, so everyone can discover their true potentials.
Ference, who also signed autographs and took pictures with the skaters, said he enjoyed the afternoon, despite struggling with the sled.
“It was neat to meet some of the people obviously that are some of the national team members who were just schooling me and showing me how easy it looks when they do it,” he said. “So it was pretty incredible.”