Players from coast-to-coast converge to celebrate a growing sport
TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Courage Canada today announced the launch of the 2013 Courage Canada National Blind Hockey Tournament presented by AMI - Accessible Media Inc. The tournament, which gets under way February 15th, will see hockey players that are blind or visually impaired from across Canada unite at the newly opened Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens).
Played by athletes who are blind or visually impaired, Blind Hockey features an adapted puck that is bigger, slower and makes noise as it travels. The game is played with traditional hockey rules with only a few modifications to assist with game flow and player safety, but remains fundamentally the same great game Canadians love.
"We're thrilled with the way things are shaping up" explained Mark DeMontis, Founder and President, Courage Canada. "The last few years have helped propel our sport - one that was virtually unknown for 40 years - into a growing game that serves as an inspiration to a great number of people. When we all get together for these marquee events, it helps set the stage for getting the recognition and support we need."
Marking their commitment to bringing Blind Hockey to communities across the country, Courage Canada currently operates over 20 learn to skate and 'Play Blind Hockey' programs annually with school boards coast-to-coast. These programs offer young Canadians who are blind or visually impaired the opportunity to take part in Canada's most storied pastime while helping to raise the profile of Blind Hockey at a grassroots level. Courage Canada has worked with upwards of 250 blind and visually impaired players, some of whom will be playing in the national tournament.
"Providing children and adults that are blind or visually impaired the opportunity to play Canada's game makes my role at Courage Canada that much more rewarding" continued Mark. "We're proud to bring this tournament to Toronto - the city where I first strapped on a pair of skates - and I hope Canadians view this as an opportunity to learn more and get engaged."
Courage Canada was founded in 2008 after Mark DeMontis was diagnosed with Leber's Optic Neuropathy - a rare condition that left him legally blind. Since the charity's inception, Mark has been awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, he has inline skated from Halifax to Vancouver over two campaigns, carried the Paralympic torch during the Toronto leg for the 2010 Vancouver Games and has been recognized for outstanding community service in the Federal House of Commons.
Spectators can catch the action between February 15 and 17 at Mattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens). Four teams will compete with medal games taking place on Sunday. Admission by donation is accepted in support of Courage Canada.
For more information, please visit www.couragecanada.ca/2013-tournament
About Courage Canada:
Courage Canada Hockey for the Blind is a national registered charity that leads the development of the sport of Blind Hockey and provides children and youth with the opportunity to learn to skate and try Blind Hockey.
About Accessible Media Inc.
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is a not-for-profit multimedia organization operating two broadcast services, AMI-tv, AMI-audio, and a website, AMI.ca. AMI serves more than five million Canadians who are blind or with low vision, deaf or hard of hearing, learning disabled, mobility or print restricted, or learning English as a second language by making print, broadcast, and online media accessible.
SOURCE: Courage Canada - Hockey for the Blind Inc.
For further information:
Alex Thomas, APEX Public Relations
416-934-2101 / [email protected]