June 19th, 2024

AHS hosts sledge hockey try-it event

By Lethbridge Herald on March 24, 2022.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Alberta Health Services’  South Zone therapeutic recreation department offered a free sledge hockey try-it event on Thursday afternoon at the Nicholas Sheran Arena.

“We work as recreation therapists to try and build capacity in the community and create programs and partnerships for individuals who have barriers to leisure and recreation,” said Melissa Mangone, a Lethbridge-based AHS recreation therapist.

“We had quite a few clients on our case load that enjoyed hockey as a leisure activity, who recently had health events that couldn’t really participate necessarily in stand-up hockey. So we thought we would try sledge hockey again. We did try-it back in 2011 and had a program going for a while and just hoping to gain some momentum for the next hockey season.”

Able-bodied people can also participate in events along with disabled players.

“We’re just hoping to allow people to come and give a new sport a try and again try and build a program here,” she said.

Events are determined on doctor and nurse referrals.

Participants often include people who have had strokes,have been in motor vehicle accidents and amputations.

“This is a good thing for people to do that  have some kind of lower body disability or they’re not able to engage in other of  other  sports,” she said.

Some of the other programming available include aquatic and walking programs at the university to name a few.

Mangone says there quite a few people that came out to try, but were hoping to have more.

“As a recreation therapist, my role is to be focusing on creating theses conditions that enable individuals to successfully experience leisure — despite their physical, psychological and social limitations,” she said.

AHS is looking to host another event in April with the hope of starting another program up in September if the interest is there.

Posters are posted throughout the Lethbridge arenas on try-it events and people can also contact Mangone at Melissa.mangone@ahs.ca or (403) 382-7534 for more information.

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