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NOVEMBER CLIENT OF THE MONTH – LONG ISLAND SLED HOCKEY

Long Island Sled Hockey (LISH) was founded by Bryan Blomquist in 2003 and is a 501(c)(3). The organization is made up of 45 physically and/or mentally handicapped athletes (e.g. people with amputations, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, etc.) between the ages of 7 and 21+ who participate in a sport called sled hockey. The players are seated on sleds, which are affixed to 2 hockey skate blades under the seat. The sleds are about 3 inches off the ice and are from 2 – 4 feet long, depending on the size of the player. The sled glides on the blades and a metal bar located at the front of the sled. Players use their arms to propel themselves along the ice. They dig picks, on the ends of two short hockey sticks, into the ice to pull themselves forward.

The team is named the “RoughRiders” in honor of President Teddy Roosevelt. All costs for tournaments and equipment are raised through events such as the annual Sock Hop, golf outing and individual donations via check or the website. Once a year the RoughRiders fly to Ottawa, Canada to play in a tournament.

Sleds average between $ 800 – $ 1,200 each, uniforms and protective equipment upwards of $ 2,000 per athlete, as well as ice rental time which is currently at $ 550 for a 90 minute session. Coaches do not get paid. The annual budget for LISH is $ 200,000.

The mission is a great one! To foster, promote and encourage sportsmanship, teamwork and camaraderie through the sport of sled hockey, specifically aimed at a juvenile and adolescent population of physically and/or mentally challenged athletes. Inherent in that goal is the development of a sense of self-esteem, pride and friendship within this population. Long Island Sled Hockey, Inc. also focuses on the development and nurturing of positive attitudes in and outside the Long Island community toward those with physical and/or mental handicapping conditions.

For additional information check out the website with pictures of these great athletes at Long Island Sled Hockey or contact Bryan Blomquist at 516-509-2406 or via email bryanlishrr@aol.com.

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