George Bray Sports Association
As the sun gets ready to set on another warm and wonderful summer, and the back-to-school sales start to emerge, the GBSA board gets ready to ‘drop the puck’ on its 48th hockey season — known as the ‘fifth season’ to all those Canadians who love the game.
All of us involved are so thankful to be a part of this “Hidden Gem” of a league. The GBSA was established in 1968, by George Bray, who started out with a big idea: to allow children and young adults with special needs to play hockey. In the beginning we had only a handful of players, and since then our objective has been – and continues to be – to grow the league. Last year we registered over 220 players and outfitted almost half of those players with our loaned equipment.
GBSA has a no-cost equipment loaner program and a hockey school to help players sharpen their skills and/or improve their skating. Our registration fees continue to remain low (only $170 for all divisions), thanks to the continued support of our dedicated sponsors.
The GBSA board members, coaches and on-ice skaters are all volunteers, which also helps to keep our fees low. They are among the most caring people you will find in sports.
We know you’re out there… Everybody knows somebody who can benefit from this league. Teachers, Educational Assistants, relatives, friends, and neighbours – we need your help to spread the word.
Our registration dates for the 2016-2017 season, held at Glen Cairn arena (370 Chippendale Cres.) are September 17, 21, and 24. The first pucks drop October 1 and 2, and all games are played on weekends.
For more information about the George Bray Sports Association, check out our website: www.georgebraysports.ca. And ‘like’ us on Facebook!
London Wheelchair Basketball Association
London Wheelchair Basketball Association was proud to host the 33rd Annual Wheely Ballathon on August 6. The event, which is the LWBA’s largest annual fundraiser, took place at the Dorchester Flight Exec Centre in Dorchester, Ontario. The day was filled with teams from all over London and area – from companies and organizations, to family and friends. The teams come in to get a chance to try out wheelchair basketball and also to take on the Forest City Flyers in a one-hour game.
When the event first began, there were up to 48 teams challenging the Flyers for 48 hours straight. The event has since become smaller, but the fundamentals of the day remain the same – fundraise, play basketball and have fun. The day is also a great opportunity for corporations to challenge each other and have a day of team-building and awareness.
We have a proud history of both Adult and Jr. Programmes, and we encourage anyone with a lower extremity impairment to come out and try this amazing sport and push your limits. You will quickly discover that you have no limits. We would like to thank this summer’s teams for coming out and supporting the LWBA: London Police Association, Debly Law of Windsor Ont., London Annihilators Wheelchair Rugby Team, and the Ratsville Rats.
We would also like to say thank to our volunteers who come out every year to help with scorekeeping, equipment maintenance, and various other duties. Without you, the LWBA would be lost.
Feel free to ‘Like’ us on Facebook @LondonWheelchairBasketball for more information or to stay informed of upcoming games, tournaments and fundraisers.
London Annihilators Wheelchair Rugby Club
Another successful season has come and gone for the London Annihilators Wheelchair Rugby Club! The Annihilators capped off the year with a gold medal at the Canadian National Championships for Team Ontario, where London athletes Cody Caldwell, David Willsie, Garret Hickling, and Ian Crowe led the charge. The game was a hard-fought battle against their long-time rivals BC. The gold medal represents the fifth in six years for Team Ontario.
Cody Caldwell and David Willsie were also selected to the Canadian National team that is representing Canada at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Canada competes from Sept. 14-17, and the full game schedules can be found on the Canadian Wheelchair Sports website at: www.cwsa.ca.
Canada entered the competition as the #1 seed and is coming off a thrilling gold medal at the recent Para-PanAm Games in Toronto. Cheer on your London athletes as they go for another gold in Rio!
London Blizzard Sledge Hockey Club
On January 28, 2005, the London Blizzard held its very first sledge hockey tournament with 28 teams competing in
two divisions. This year marks the 12th annual tournament with 44 teams from across Canada and the United States
participating. These teams range in skill levels and age, and play in six divisions.
The tournament is held every year at the Western Fair District Sports Centre, where the London Blizzard also hosts
home games on weekends and rigorous practices Wednesday nights. The London Blizzard has two teams playing in the
tournament: one each in Intermediate B Junior Sledge Development (JSD). Last January, the Intermediates won Bronze
in the “C” division, playing well against some tough competition. The JSD worked hard and placed fourth in their division of nine teams.
This season, both teams have been working hard at practices and are hoping to improve their results at the tournament January 22-24. The Sledge Development team has played well in league action so far and has great hopes of an improved result in January. They have a balanced attack and the Intermediates had some players move up from the JSD team this season. James Dunn has been great at scoring and controlling the puck, and also made Sledge Team Ontario in September. Mackenzie Spong has played well so far, and her tenacious style helped her land a spot on the Canadian Women’s National team as their youngest member. Dylan Kett is also in his first season and brings a wealth of experience to the Blizzard.
The London Blizzard is always open to having members of the community come out and try sledge hockey. If you are interested in coming out to see the team or want to try out, practices are held Wednesday evenings at 6:45 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Contact Todd Sargeant for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by George Bray Sports Association, London Blizzard Sledge Hockey Club, London Annihilators Wheelchair Rugby Club and London Wheelchair Basketball Association