There is such a need and desire for people using wheelchairs to play a competitive sport. Beyond that, to be on a team and make new friendships. Philadelphia Flyers Powerplay hockey provides just that.
Twice a month our family wakes up, eats a quick breakfast, showers and dress in orange or black Flyers jerseys. Then we hurry to load the van and head about an hour towards Philly or a suburb to enjoy Power chair hockey. And we aren’t even remotely close to coming the furthest.
The Power chair hockey team is growing in size and momentum. This is because it has deep roots.
In fact, it has been about two decades since the idea was born for Philadelphia PowerPlay hockey:
The Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay was founded as the Philadelphia PowerPlay with the purpose of providing an athletic and social environment for people who use power wheelchairs in their daily lives. While sports such as Challenger’s Baseball, Wheelchair Basketball, and Sled Hockey have been established for some time, there was a need for a competitive sport that could be played in a power wheelchair.
This team was started by our founder and former team manager, Pat Hilferty, as a school activity in 1999. He and other students played once a week after school under the guidance of their physical and occupational therapists. Upon the graduation of Pat and a few of the other students, Pat wanted to formally organize. The Philadelphia PowerPlay was born in September of 2003. The team plays twice a month and provides an outlet not only for members to play hockey but for the team to socialize in an atmosphere of acceptance. The family members have also been greatly affected in that they have others who share the everyday struggles and happiness that come with a disabled family member.
After years of practice and games, the team went on to win the 2018 Powerplay Cup.
While our girls do not play on the varsity team, we are very proud of their win. But we are even more pleased to call them friends and teammates.
The Philadelphia news recently featured the team on an evening segment:
You don’t need to be from Philadelphia to play Power hockey.
There are other states with their own teams. Of course, Canada has many teams, as well. However, in 2017, the Philadelphia Flyers adopted this team as the first Power hockey team to be affiliated with an NHL team. Now wouldn’t it be great if other NHL teams joined that movement?!
If you are interested in learning more about joining a team, taking in a game, volunteering, or giving a donation, follow the links below: W