Super HEROS Hockey – Kids with cognitive challenges get a chance to play
The Majic Meaning
The only way things will ever change is if you change them. Complaining doesn’t work, blaming definitely doesn’t work, and thinking about it, well, you get the point. Calgary’s Super HEROS hockey program saw that kids with cognitive challenges were left out, so they took action. Now they are helping these kids feel included, connected and most importantly, they are helping them feel just like everyone else. After all that’s all any human being really wants, is to be part of something; to add value. How can you make a difference in your community? Think about it, but then do something about it too.
Calgary’s Super HEROS hockey program is providing kids with cognitive challenges an opportunity to lace up a pair of skates and play Canada’s favorite pastime.
“You can’t realize a kid’s potential unless you give them the opportunity,” Kevin Hodgson, executive director of the Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS), told CTV Calgary. “These kids were always stuck behind glass. They were always being their siblings’ greatest fans, or they were being hockey fans from afar, but they never thought that they would get to play.”
HEROS describes itself as a “volunteer-driven charity that uses the game of ice hockey to teach life-skills and empower marginalized youth.” Super HEROS is the Vancouver-based group’s first adapted hockey program for kids with cognitive challenges including autism and Down syndrome. It also includes children with physical disabilities.
The sessions, which began in October and run every Sunday morning, are led by volunteer coaches. So far, 21 children have enrolled in the free Calgary program, which is funded by donations.
“We knew it was going to impact the kids,” Hodgson said. “We didn’t realize the positive impact it would have on the families and that’s been a really cool thing for us.”
“I finally get to be a hockey dad!” Tim Webber, whose 11-year-old daughter has Down syndrome, told CTV Calgary. “It’s amazing. Some of these kids had never skated before, and by the end of the first ice time, everyone was on their feet.”
Story as seen on CTV News