Mid-America Hockey Association awards funds for Ice Arena

A grant for $6,000 was recently awarded to the McMillen Ice Arena'€™s sled hockey program by the Mid-American Hockey Association. The Roger Sharrer Grant from Mid-Am Hockey is provided to a hockey association that offers the best plan for growing participation in recreational ice hockey in their area.

In addition to the $6,000 award, the Fort Wayne Youth Hockey Association presented a $2,000 matching grant for the sled hockey program. These funds will be used to purchase six sleds and associated equipment, which the MAC'€™s new sled hockey team can use to build their program.

Sled hockey is new to the MAC, where registration is continuing to increase the size of Indiana'€™s first sled hockey team. The local team has seven members so far, and is looking to sign up more at their next practice July 19, 8-9am.

The Sharrer grant was presented to representatives from the MAC and Fort Wayne Youth Hockey at the Mid-Am'€™s annual meeting in Columbus Ohio. They included: Chuck Reddinger, supervisor of programming; Kevin Wagner, President of FWYH; and Greg Chess, V.P. of FWYH.

“The recent registration of Indiana'€™s first-ever sled hockey team is a big boost to the sport,” said Reddinger. “Participants have had to travel to Ohio and Illinois to play. Now they can play with a regular team, as well as host a sled hockey tournament February 14th, 2009.”

Sled hockey is similar to wheelchair basketball and is a great sport for youth and adults. People with mobility disabilities who enjoy (or want to learn) the sport of hockey are welcome! Once they'€™ve learned the basics, they can compete with anyone '€“ non-disabled friends and others. No experience necessary. There is no pre-registration for this drop-in program, and all equipment will be provided.

This is the third consecutive year that the MAC has received a Sharrer grant. Previous awards were used to fund the “Suit Up for Hockey” equipment loan program, which provides free use of all the equipment young skaters need.

For more information, visit www.mcmillenicearena.org, or call 427-6769.