54 RINKS in 54 HOURS
Nearly 1.4 million disabled people – 16% of the state population – call New Jersey home. That is double the state poverty rate. It’s also the same number of students enrolled in the state’s 2,500 high schools.
New Jersey also leads the nation with a staggering 1 in 94 children diagnosed with Autism. Additionally, there is a higher incidence of obesity and depression among disabled New Jerseyans, leading to other health issues.
Suprisingly, hockey has proven to be great occupational therapy for the physically and developmentally disabled.
To prove it, a group of disabled athletes will make history, Jan. 29-31, by visiting all 54 rinks in the State of New Jersey in just 54 hours to raise awareness for Disabled Hockey.
This incredible, record-setting journey is entitled EveryBODY Skates New Jersey (ESNJ), and will take place during Hockey Weekend Across America.
The mission of ESNJ is to convince New Jersey ice rinks to allocate just one hour of ice time per week, in season, to Disabled Hockey.
From Pittsgrove and Pennsauken to Woodbridge and West Orange, the state already has several Disabled Hockey programs in existence. These programs are self-sustaining. In fact, they often have an easier time raising funds than traditional programs.
The challenge these programs face is ACCESS TO REGULAR ICE TIME EACH WEEK during hockey season. Ice time at the state’s 54 rinks is at a premium because preference is typically given to house, travel league and high school programs.
Convincing these business owners to set aside ice time for disabled programs, especially ones they know little about, is a challenge; but Disabled Hockey programs can pay their own way. We’re not looking for financial support or sympathy. Our programs just need a chance to grow, a small commitment from the rink on ice time, and little support from the community.
We, the undersigned, call upon ice rinks in New Jersey to make one (1) hour of ice time per week available for Disabled Hockey during hockey season.
The Support EveryBODY Skates New Jersey petition to New Jersey Ice Rinks was written by EveryBODY Skates New Jersey and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.