An Introduction to Special Hockey in the UK
What is Special Ice Hockey?
Unlike mainstream adult and junior league hockey, Special Hockey caters for children and adults of differing ages and abilities who have developmental disabilities. Special hockey is non-contact, non-competitive and focuses on improving health and well-being.
Who can benefit from joining a Special Hockey club?
Children, Young people and Adults with;
- Autistic Spectrum Disorders
- Downs Syndrome
- Asperger Syndrome
- ADD /ADHD & Dyspraxia
- Other Learning and Developmental disabilities.
What are the benefits of joining a Special Hockey club?
- Fun! Fun! Fun!
- Social Interaction, friendship and reduced social isolation
- Increased self confidence and self-esteem
- Improved physical fitness and overall health and well-being
Whether you are new to the sport or already playing ice hockey elsewhere with a disability but need additional support, Special Hockey provides a safe environment where players can thrive and progress at a pace that suits them.
UK Special Hockey Clubs
Listed below are details of the Special Hockey clubs formed within the UK.
If there is not one listed in your area, why not consider starting one at your local rink. Teams can be formed from as few as two players. Mike Dwyer can provide guidance on what is involved in setting up.
Clubs within regions of England are listed below. If your Special Hockey club is not shown or details incorrect, contact our webmaster to get your details added/amended.
Location: Slough, Berkshire, England
Address: Absolutely Ice, Slough Ice Arena, Montem Lane, Slough, SL1 2QG
Contact: Ricci Hodgson
About the Club: Formed in 2006. The SPICE JETS are the ice hockey team of SPICE ‘Special People on ICE’.
Come and watch us train each Sunday at Absolutely Ice Arena from 11:15 to 12:15 pm.
SPICE provides ice hockey coaching through a programme funded by BBC Children in Need and delivered by the former EPIHL Play-Off Champions – the Slough Jets.
SPICE JETS are proud members of Special Hockey International.
Werewolves of London
Location: Streatham, South London, England
Address: Streatham Ice and Leisure Centre, 390 Streatham High Road, Streatham, London, SW16 6HX
Contact: Mike Dwyer
About the Club: Formed in 2002, Werewolves of London hold approximately 20 training sessions between September-May on Saturday afternoons between 4:30-6:30pm. Check our training dates. Skaters and Non-skaters welcome. Coaches EIHA (English Ice Hockey Association) accredited, Ice Hockey kit loan scheme.
Werewolves of London are proud members of Special Hockey International.
Special Hockey International & Tournaments
Special Hockey clubs may become a member of Special Hockey International which allows them to participate in and experience matches against other Special Hockey teams overseas. There are over 40 clubs registered to date and many of these have more than one team.
The SHI annual tournament brings together teams from across North America and Europe once a year for a major gathering, attracting more than 70 teams. This tournament traditionally alternates between a Canadian and American City, but has also been hosted in London, England. The Special Hockey International tournament is not a traditional tournament, however. There are no elimination rounds, no one team is crowned champion. In our eyes they are all champions. Every team plays 4 games and every player on every team plays equally.
Although the players do play their hardest and they are all trying to win, the spirit of this tournament is not about competition. It is about participation and fair play. If one team can’t field a full roster another team will lend them players. If a team’s only goalie is hurt or otherwise unable to play, another team will lend them one. Words alone cannot describe it. You have to see it to truly understand and you will never feel the same again about the developmentally challenged or even about hockey.
But this tournament is about more than just hockey. For these athletes it is like their own mini Olympics. And just like the Olympics, they have their own opening ceremonies complete with the parade of athletes. And like the Olympics the social aspects of this tournament are also important. Starting with the opening “Meet and Greet” and ending the tournament banquet.
UK teams who are members and participate include;
- SPICE Jets
- Werewolves of London