UCT and ASHA – working together to grow special hockey

This week we have a guest post from UCT Community Outreach Manager Jen Szymczak, who’s going to chat about the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) and our partnership with this fantastic organization. Thanks, Jen!

UCT is in its third year as the national sponsor of ASHA to help grow special hockey programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our three-year donations total more than $50,000! 

In addition to our financial contributions, and in an effort to support ASHA, UCT has developed the UCT Winter Hockey Festival, now in its second year, which was held February 16-17 in Toledo, Ohio. The goal is to host this festival in a different city each year to give many of the ASHA programs an opportunity to play outdoors and to take part in this wonderful event. Check out the photos from this years’ event!

ASHA is a volunteer-driven association created especially to benefit players with disabilities. Some of the most common of these are autism, Down syndrome, Tourette syndrome, cerebral palsy and ADD/ADHD. ASHA’s programs give players of all ages and abilities a chance to learn and grow by playing hockey. There are currently more than 80 special hockey teams with over 1,200 athletes throughout the U.S.

UCT members support ASHA through such volunteer efforts as sponsoring ice time for games and practices, hosting post-practice lunches, helping sponsor tournaments and camps, and holding fundraisers to help teams with travel costs and purchasing necessary equipment.

As the UCT and ASHA partnership continues to grow, UCT is offering many ways for the parents of the ASHA athletes to get involved in the fundraising and support of their local teams by becoming UCT members and creating new ASHA Alternative Councils. These councils are assisted by the outreach, marketing and design efforts of the UCT home office, and receive on-site event planning assistance if needed.

UCT is proud to welcome four new ASHA alternative councils from Columbus, Ohio; Annapolis, Maryland; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Potomac, Maryland. We look forward to continuing to work with ASHA to grow this wonderful program for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For information about getting involved with ASHA or starting an ASHA alternative council, contact UCT’s Community Outreach Managers at volunteer@uct.org.

Thanks for letting me blog and share!

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