Regina Pats take the ice with Canadian Blind Hockey

The Regina Pats and Canadian Blind Hockey teamed up to bring awareness to the possibilities that exist with blind hockey.

Canadian Blind Hockey paid a visit with a field trip to Queen City on Wednesday with a full day filled with activities. It started with a tour of the arena with a pizza lunch. Prospective players got to try blind hockey on the ice, skating with the Pats at the end of the day.

Pats players helping out with the Canadian Blind Hockey program. Photo: Blaine Weyland

Last year, Canadian Blind Hockey made a trip to Saskatoon, leading to the creation of the Saskatoon Blind Hockey program alongside Saskatchewan Blind Sports.

Matt Morrow, Executive Director of Canadian Blind Hockey, hopes the field trip to Regina can help create awareness of what the program can present to blind or partially sighted youth.

Morrow explains there are a couple of differences in Blind Hockey.
“Our adaptive puck is larger than a traditional puck and makes noise.”

When the program launched about 15 years ago, Morrow explained that there were four teams and 45 blind hockey players globally, but now there are 15 programs in Canada and also in six other countries.

A few years ago, there weren’t blind hockey players in Saskatchewan, but has since grown with a team based in Saskatoon. In their second season of operation, there are now 20 players competing in Saskatoon.

There are a few players currently living in Regina. Morrow hopes that a team will form in the city in the future.

One of the objectives of the field trip is to introduce the social aspect of the sport to blind hockey players.

“Learning how the sport of hockey works, what the shape and size of the arena is, what the ice feels like, and having that true Canadian experience.”

Besides the one program in Saskatoon, there are teams in Vancouver, Edmonton, Red Deer, and Calgary, four programs in Ontario, and one in Quebec along a group based in each of the Maritime provinces.
With events like the Skate with the Pats, Morrow hopes to create awareness of the possibilities available for blind hockey players.

“There are probably thousands, if not more, Canadians who qualify as blind or partially sighted who may not know that there is hockey available for them,” said Morrow, “hopefully we can reach these potential participants that may want to become apart of the program and continue to grow the sport that way.”

Pats forward Braxton Whitehead was looking forward to take the ice with the players.

“It’s good to be in the community and helping everyone and I’m excited to go out there and see what the kids can do, it’s pretty special.”

More information on Canadian Blind Hockey is available on their website.

They are active on social media, including Facebook and X, and their TikTok presence has generated buzz.

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