The WPBHL is pleased to announce that once again Jumpstart has come through with a grant for the 2023 season.
This year’s grant is for $400 and will be used to offset operational costs of the All Abilities division.
The Withrow Park Ball Hockey League All Abilities Division was founded in 2019 by two dads of children with disabilities, looking to create a fun, safe and supported environment for players with disabilities and their families.
The first season was played with just over a dozen players most of whom played in a Special Needs ice hockey league. Despite a two-year pause due to the pandemic, the 2022 season resumed with over 20 players ranging in age from 11 to 58.
With the addition of a 3rd parent coach and a dozen teen volunteers from the other divisions of the league, the All Abilities division continues to grow in interest. The 2023 season comprises over 24 players, 12 player volunteers and growing interest to help on the bench as coaches.
“The WPBHL is a true community sport league with many of its players being drawn from the surrounding neighbourhoods in Riverdale. As a father of 4 children, 3 of whom played in the able-bodied divisions of the league for years, I always hoped that there would be a Division that would support players with disabilities, so that my son would be able to participate in the experience. The benefits of sport and recreation to the disability community extend far beyond the sport itself but help foster the social and emotional well-being of both the players and their families. I applaud the WPBHL and their donors for recognizing this. – Jonathan Wood (Coach)”
Last season the All Abilities division had its first ever championships and was written up on the Toronto Sun. That same year, Jumpstart provided the league with a grant of $3,375.
Canadian Tire started JumpStart in 2005 with a mission to help financially disadvantaged families. It operates under the belief that every child deserves the chance to play.