The OPWHL is a registered charity with the Canadian Revenue Agency and strives to provide an organized recreational and social program for people with disabilities through the game of wheelchair floor power hockey.
Power hockey or wheelchair hockey is a floor hockey game specifically designed for persons who require the use of an electric wheelchair.
The OPWHL provides its members with the opportunity to participate in a competitive sport while building awareness for the organization, disabilities, and the player’s self-awareness of being a valuable member of a team.
“There are really not many opportunities for people with disabilities to play sports in the community and this helps get everyone involved,” said Dino Giannetti, fundraising director and player for the Gators. “We want to give everyone the opportunity to participate in a sport while raising awareness for people with disabilities.”
The OPWHL hosted the fourth annual celebrity game in Algonquin’s gymnasium to help raise awareness about the organization while giving their players the opportunity to compete in a friendly match of power hockey with local celebrities such as Ottawa’s New Country 94’s Ryan Lindsay, and Magic 100’s Stuntman Stu.
“We want to illustrate to our celebrities the importance this game has on our players,” said Giannetti. “Also having these celebrities that bring in news outlets really helps us get the word out about our organization and not only raise funds but help raise more awareness.”
Celebrities volunteered to be part of the game and got a real understanding of just how talented the players are and the amount of skill it takes to play the game.
“Even just holding a stick has proved as a challenge for me,” said Lindsay on-air personality for New Country 94. “I have an immense amount of respect for what they do, and something tells me we’re going to get crushed.”
And Lindsay was right as the league players pulled through with a 8-6 win against the celebrities. But despite the loss, after an interactive and fun game, celebrities said they would be more than happy to return next year for a round two.
“I would most definitely volunteer again, the organization is amazing,” said Lindsay. “Hockey is not just a sport it’s a passion. Hockey is a huge part of this country, everyone should have the opportunity to play the game and this organization gives people who may not otherwise have had the opportunity to do it. I think it’s amazing.”