The Northumberland Bulldogs Special Needs Hockey Program has openings for players on its junior and senior teams.
Registration costs $300 per year and includes a jersey, hockey socks, ice time for practices and games and a banquet. The Bulldogs home arena is the Baltimore Recreation Centre and during a normal season they play away games against other teams, mostly in the Toronto area.
“All our players are all special needs and are of every age, boys and girls,” said president Brian Brown. “There is no age limit, there’s also no skill limit as well.”
Players with special needs include Down Syndrome, Autism, ADHD and more.
“All we ask is that you know how to skate and we will teach you hockey skills,” Brown said.
“Most of our staff have special needs children in the program so they definitely understand what it’s all about. “We have trainers, we have bench supports and they’re all fully trained. We have to take courses every year for this.”
Brown said the players take pride in putting on the jersey and being part of a team.
“If you ever want to see what true hockey is, you need to come and see these guys,” he remarked. “They are truly just happy to be there.”
Anyone looking to register or to learn more can check out www.northumberlandbulldogs.com for contact information. As the program continues to grow, new volunteers are also welcome and appreciated.