We’re exceptionally proud to sponsor the Peterborough Phantoms Sledge Hockey Team, to help raise awareness for the game and provide new equipment for their ever-growing team.
Officially classed as the Paralympic version of ice hockey, the sport traces its origins to Sweden in the early 1960s. Two friends, who wanted to continue playing Ice Hockey despite their physical disabilities designed the distinctive double bladed sled and laid down the rules, which don’t differ much from standard Ice Hockey. Teeing, or hitting other players with your sled, is prohibited and players use two sticks, with a spike end for pushing and a blade end for shooting.
The sport made its Olympic debut at the 1994 Lillehammer Paralympic Winter Games and has enjoyed a wide growth in popularity ever since, with five active teams now in the UK and many more worldwide. Part of what makes Sledge Hockey so popular is its unique all-inclusive aspect – able and non-able bodied individuals can play side-by-side, putting everyone on a level playing field.
Through our sponsorship of the Peterborough Phantoms, we want to help raise the profile of Sledge Hockey nationwide. For people living with disabilities, one of the hardest things is coming to terms with the radical change in lifestyle. It’s telling that, although there are 9.4 million people classed as physically disabled in the UK, only one in six of them regularly takes part in a sport.
While physical activity can greatly improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, developing independence, social integration and general wellbeing, the sad fact is that access and provision for disabled sports in the UK is often inconsistent.
In 2015, we launched our Don’t Quit Do It campaign because we want people with disabilities to have the same opportunities to experience and enjoy sport as everyone else.
Through our sponsorship of the Peterborough Phantoms we want to provide them with equipment, including sledges. We also want to use this opportunity to raise the profile of Sledge Hockey across the UK, to get more people living with physical disabilities involved with what is a dynamic, engaging and rewarding sport.
You can discover more about Irwin Mitchell’s Don’t Quit Do It campaign here.