…bigger and better than ever; Year of firsts with over 100 participants, new Children and Youth Division, and selection of Team Canada
TORONTO, ON – The 2018 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament returns to the Mattamy Athletic Centre for the sixth year running this weekend, March 30 – April 1, celebrating a number of milestones for both the organization and the event. The Tournament is organized by Canadian Blind Hockey, presented by AMI – Accessible Media Inc., and brought to you by the CNIB – Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.
This year the Tournament – the largest Blind Hockey event of its kind – introduces the first Children and Youth Division in its history, making the event open to participants of all ages. Alongside the Open, and Low Vision and Development Divisions, the Children and Youth Division exemplifies Canadian Blind Hockey’s commitment to make hockey inclusive for all individuals who are blind or partially sighted.
2018 also marks the first time the event will include over 100 participants, double the number of players from the inaugural 2013 Tournament just six years ago. The milestone is a timely one, as it coincides with National Program Partner CNIB’s 100 celebrations, marking “100 years of changing lives.” To mark the CNIB centennial, individuals who are blind or partially sighted will take part in an on-ice celebration featuring an open skate with guests from the Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni.
This year’s event also functions as a try-out for Team Canada, as the organization gears up for the first ever international Blind Hockey series this October in Pittsburgh, PA. The series will see Team Canada square off against Team USA in a best-of-three game series, marking a longstanding goal of the organization to establish international competition.
“We’re all very excited about the Canada-US series later this year. It’s a level of competition we have been striving for ever since this Tournament began,” says Canadian Blind Hockey President and blind goalie, Gary Steeves. “But perhaps the greatest mark of success is the creation of the Children and Youth Division at this year’s tournament. The division not only marks another level of inclusiveness in the sport, it also ushers in the next generation of Blind Hockey players, ensuring the vitality of the sport for years to come.”
Mattamy Athletic Centre – 50 Carleton St
|Friday, March 30|
|2:00 pm – 3:00 pm||Children and Youth Division|
|3:00 pm – 3:15 pm||Opening Ceremonies|
|3:15 pm – 4:20 pm||Open Division: Black vs Yellow|
|4:30 pm – 5:35 pm||Open Division: Red vs Gold|
|5:45 pm – 7:00 pm||Low Vision & Development Division Balancing Game|
Saturday, March 31
|9:00 am – 10:05 am||Open Division: Black vs Red|
|10:15 am – 11:20 am||Open Division: Yellow vs Gold|
|11:30 am – 12:35 pm||Low Vision & Development Division Game # 1|
|12:45 pm – 1:45 pm||Children and Youth Division Skate|
|2:00 pm – 3:00 pm||CNIB 100 Anniversary Free Skate|
|3:10 pm – 4:15 pm||Open Division: Black vs Gold|
|4:25 pm – 5:30 pm||Open Division: Yellow vs Red|
|5:40 pm – 7:00 pm||Low Vision & Development Division Game # 2|
Sunday, April 1
|9:10 am – 10:30 am||Low Vision & Development Division Game # 3|
|10:30 am – 11:35 am||Open Division: Bronze Medal Game|
|11:45 am – 1:00 pm||Open Division: Gold Medal Game|
|1:00 pm – 2:00 pm||Children and Youth Division|
The entire tournament will be streamed live for free in HD, with professional play-by-play to make the sport accessible to all fans. Mike Ross, PA announcer for the Toronto Maple Leafs and host of AMI Accessible Media Inc.’s Studio 5 will provide colour commentary throughout the tournament for the online broadcast, which will also be carried on the AMI-audio television channel.
Canadian Blind Hockey would like to thank the 2018 sponsors: AMI-Accessible Media Inc., CNIB – Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Ryerson University, Mattamy Athletic Centre, the Toronto Education Workers, Manion, Electra Health Floor, Letko Brosseau & Associates, Mackenzie Investments, the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Lions International, York Toro’s, Tim Horton’s, Holiday Inn Downtown Toronto, Firstline Promotional Wear, and GTHL Canada, as well as the many donors who contributed to our Donor-Wall-of-Fame.
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is a not-for-profit multimedia organization serving more than five million Canadians who are blind, partially sighted, deaf, hard of hearing, mobility or print restricted. Operating three broadcast services, AMI-tv and AMI-audio in English and AMI-télé in French, AMI’s mission is to make accessible media for all Canadians. To learn more visit AMI.ca and AMItele.ca.
For more information on Blind Hockey and the 2018 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament, please visit blindicehockey.com, or follow on social media @CDNBlindHockey on Twitter, or Canadian Blind Hockey on Facebook.
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