Our family has enjoyed MN Special Hockey four about 2.5 seasons. We joined up in a pre-launch test, back when we skated with sled hockey. We're starting a new season with a free open skate the University of Minnesota's Mariucci arena (pdf flyer, see directions).
If you have a friend or family member in the Twin Cities region with a cognitive or social/behavioral disability, please invite them to our open skate - or check out our contact list.
MN Special Hockey has worked well for us. It's kind of a milder version of pond hockey, except that we play in good settings with great volunteers and coaches. We even have cheerleaders for the special games.
We get support from very generous donors like Section 108, Hockey Docs, 21 for kids and the Dasburg's -- so everyone can play. (Our family doesn't need financial support, but even without support it's not bad.) Games/practices are weekly, so it's not a burden.
We have three teams that roughly surround the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area, so there's a team in a reasonable drive for the entire metro area.
We're a fairly pale bunch, but not entirely white. Otherwise we're pretty diverse, aged 4 through 50+. Most players are more or less cognitively impaired, but a few are higher IQ Asperger's or varying degrees of autism.
When we started almost nobody skated, but after a few years some do pretty well. Some play in a private world, some are getting good enough to out skate me.
So regardless of age or skating ability, MN special hockey is worth a look! Come by the skate -- parking is easy and it's free.
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