Windsor

Windsor hoping to have first minor hockey team for special needs kids in area

The Riverside Minor Hockey Association is organizing a special needs hockey program. It will be the first minor hockey team for kids with special needs in Windsor-Essex.

This will be the first minor hockey team for kids with special needs in Windsor-Essex

President of the Riverside Minor Hockey Assocation, Anne Marie Schofield said they are organizing the first minor hockey team for kids with special needs in Windsor-Essex. (CBC)

The Riverside Minor Hockey Association is organizing a special needs hockey program for kids aged 12 and up.

This will be the first minor hockey team for kids with special needs in Windsor-Essex. A board member and a former member brought up the suggestion after they attended a Tecumseh arena event for a special needs hockey team.

President Anne Marie Schofield said the association was immediately interested.

"We jumped on it. It was pretty much plain and simple, we just jumped on it," she said.

Now they need to find the athletes. The program starts at age 12, and is willing to accept players up to the age of 20.

Schofield has met with the local chapters of the Special Olympics to help get the word out, and has reached out to the autism and down syndrome societies.

"Obviously these are special needs athletes. They require some different kind of attention and ensuring that we have enough able-bodied people on the ice, to assist where needed, is probably going to be the biggest challenge," said Schofield.

They hope parents of the children are able to help out and, and are also trying to find people who are qualified and caring.

"The doesn't necessarily mean a parent or a sibling of that particular athlete, there's lots of people in the community that my want to help," she said.

Ice time is Sundays at 7:30 a.m., hopefully starting in September.

"We need you. If you're willing, at least an hour a week — unfortunately early in the morning — show it," Schofield said. "Come out and help us out. We'll find a way to get your name to the right people, and the more, the merrier."