This time one year ago Super HEROS was just an idea gaining momentum. Now it is a reality providing a true hockey experience and programming for boys and girls with Down Syndrome and Autism. There were nearly 2-dozen aspiring boys and girls in the Calgary area who had long dreamed of playing hockey and being part of a team. They watched older siblings, family and friends from the stands as they played hockey, went on team trips and tournaments. Being a player was something they dreamed of but lacked the opportunity. In October 2018, Super HEROS was created giving these aspiring players a chance to get on the ice and play.
In April of this year our inaugural cohort of Super HEROS were invited to the Capital City Condors Tournament in Nashville, TN. The Capital City Condors have been providing adapted hockey for over 10 years in the Ottawa area. Former Ottawa Senator and current Nashville Predator player Kyle Turris is an ambassador for the Capital City Condors and was introduced to the program during his time in Ottawa. Since his trade to Nashville Kyle has been working to bring boys and girls from the Capital City Condors program to his new home and this March the idea became a reality. Our Super HEROS were fortunate to receive an invitation to take part in the tournament and excitedly accepted.
It was a busy trip participating in several ice times, a visit to the Nashville Fire Department, learning to line dance on Broadway, a trip to the Nashville zoo and much more. Our Super HEROS and their accompanying family members were instantly made to feel welcome and included. Check out a few of our Super HEROS learning to cut a rug here (see if you can spot our President Norm Flynn get in on the action as well).
Our Super HEROS experienced the life of a hockey player and created memories to last a lifetime. The meaning of the trip to the Super HEROS is best summed up by a call one of the players, Ben, made to his mom who was unable to join him on the trip. Ben has two sisters who grew up playing hockey as well as a dad who still plays. He was telling his mom all about the trip and the exciting activities then said “mom, this means you are the only person in our family who doesn’t get to go on hockey trips now. I get to be a hockey player like everyone else!”