The Cincinnati IceBreakers, a not-for-profit organization, operating under Ohio Sled Hockey, offers adaptive ice hockey or ‘sled’ hockey to youth and adults who are unable to skate in a standing position due to a physical disability.
The IceBreakers formed in 2008 after a year and a half of learning, planning, and educating the community about the benefits of exercise and organized sport and sled hockey for youth and adults with a physical disability. The program is supported in part by donations and grants; there is a nominal player fee each season to assist with the cost of equipment maintenance and protective gear. Each player is loaned a sled, hockey sticks and protective gear as a part of their fee. Players and family members are encouraged to support the program through volunteer assistance on or off the ice, participate in key fundraisers each hockey season, and be willing to travel to outreach events, games and scrimmages locally and in neighboring cities.
During practice, players learn how to put on and care for their protective gear, get on and off the ice in a sled and play hockey. Adult and teen volunteers with hockey experience assist each week.
The Icebreakers’ season is October through the end of March, once a week for about an hour. Players have an opportunity to learn how to play hockey, participate in scrimmages, games and tournaments. Youth and adults are separated by age, following USA Hockey regulations, for games and tournaments.
As with all not-for-profit organizations, fundraising is on-going and requires a commitment to volunteer by the participants and their families to help sustain the program.
Coaches and volunteers are USA Hockey registered, certified and professionally screened. You can expect coaches and volunteers to display professionalism and confidentiality at all times.