Friday, Dec. 10, the New Jersey Devils hosted the students of John F. Kennedy School, special olympic athletes, paralympians, and members of the local sled hockey team, the NJ Warriors, were featured during their Persons with Disabilities Night.
Athletes of all abilities joined the Devils on the ice during the national anthem before the game to tremendous applause.
“It is important to show that the mindset of players is the same regardless of ability. They are passionate, resilient, supportive and engaging,” said AAHA Disabled Hockey Representative Maureen Thompson-Siegel. “Regardless of ability, hockey is the same for all that choose to participate in the sport.”
Special olympic hockey players and players on the Warriors played a game in between the first period. Students from the John F. Kennedy school, a secondary special education school, were featured during the first TV timeout to celebrate the launch of their sled hockey program.
“We would like to see all of the disabled disciplines grow,” Thompson-Siegal said. “There are opportunities in this sport for all abilities, and showcasing this to a large audience creates awareness.”