I love working with ASHA. I work with the NOVA Cool Cats every week when I'm home. We're like one big family. We do lots of drill that help the kids and we always play a game at the end. At Cool Cats we are always moving so there is never a moment of down time. I love coming home from college and seeing how much they have improved since I last left. I miss them so much.
I found out about ASHA by accident. While living in the Washington DC area and going to school for sports management my adviser told me to get online and write a hockey blog - so I did.
Before I came to the DC area I worked as a special education para educator in Michigan and what ASHA does for their athletes is unparalleled to anything else out there.
The individuals that work behind the scenes, the coaches, the volunteers that come in to help at events, like last winters Outdoor Festival in Toledo, Ohio. It is all of these people that make ASHA what it is. My time working as a para I saw kids that were being mainstreamed that knew they were different from the majority of their classmates and the effect it had on them. To have a place where they can go and play a sport and learn life skills is beneficial in countless ways - some that we may never realize.
Having an organization that is dedicated to making the best situation for every athlete is important. Some show up to their first practice and have never laced up ice skates before; but the coaches and volunteers are there and assist them all along the way.
The American Special Hockey Association is much more than a sporting organization, it's a life changing activity that everyone involved with it benefits from.
I have been very fortunate that my family has been a part of this organization since its inception. I am proud to have been a part of its growth and seen its leadership continue to excel. ASHA supports all of its athletes and specifically the needs at the local level. The dedication by all those involved makes this a positive experience for all the athletes and their families.
American Special Hockey provides ALL children an opportunity to be part of a team and to learn a sport. Physical activity is important for all growing children, but many children are kept out of sports programs. This program gives ALL students an opportunity for exercise and growth. Many, many children face discrimination when they try to participate in sports. ASHA welcomes all children with open arms. And, you know what happens? The children learn, grow, blossom and become better students! Sports works to develop the whole child, and it works for ALL children.
This organization gives individuals an opportunity to play ice hockey tha are normally excluded due to their developmental challenges. The game is adaptive to their needs, and gives them a chance to become a team and team mates. It has proven to be much more then just a sport for the players, social skills have improved, school performances have improved, and even job skills have improved. It has made life lessons outside of the ice rink.