The UCT Gives Back video contest was meant to provide $10,000 and $5,000 to two special hockey programs in North America – but for the West Michigan Patriots, CCYHA Columbus Blue Jackets and the 8 other special hockey finalist teams, the reward was much greater.

The purpose behind the UCT Gives Back video contest for special hockey teams is not only to award two deserving teams with much needed financial support, but also to help increase awareness of these amazing programs, and special hockey in general. And accordingly to some of the top 10 video finalists of the video contest, we believe the contest was a success in all areas!

President of ASHA, Mike Hickey – “I thought the contest brought very valuable awareness to ASHA and Special Hockey as a whole.”

Pasadena Maple Leafs – “We passed out a flyer to all of our families to post around their neighborhoods/work/etc.  We’re hoping that by the time we’re done, a few thousand more people in our area will at least be aware of special hockey and UCT. Thanks again for providing the vehicle to help get the word out!”

Boston Bear Cubs – “The UCT Video Contest is over. We had fun having the players rally the vote, and received lots of exposure for our program and a few new players will be joining us. Many thanks to the great group at UCT.”

CCYHA Columbus Blue Jackets – “I know our team had a lot of fun spreading the word about Special Hockey here in Central Ohio. And we generated a ton of awareness – I have already received a number of inquiries about volunteering for our program and about joining our next Learn to Skate session in January.”

West Michigan Patriots – “UCT–thanks for all you do for special hockey. Being a new team, this money was very much needed and will be out to great use. CCYHA–you guys made this fun!! It was close all of the way through and we pushed each other to get the word out about UCT and special hockey, both of which will benefit from the exposure. To the rest of the top ten teams–it was awesome to learn about each and every one of your teams!  All of our teams are amazing and I love how much these kids are loving this most amazing sport.”

Check out the reaction from the West Michigan Patriots when they received the phone call from UCT CEO Joe Hoffman telling them that they won the UCT Gives Back Video Contest and $10,000! https://www.facebook.com/wmspecialhockey/videos/958165044277780/

What is Special Hockey?

Special hockey is dedicated to provide individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities the chance to play the sport of ice hockey in an environment which is adapted to the level of ability which the athletes are able to participate.  Special hockey is dedicated for the enrichment of the athlete with an intellectual or developmental disability.

A special hockey program should:

  1. Educate, motivate and encourage individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate in the sport of ice hockey in an environment that is adapted to the level of ability of the participating athletes
  2. Integrate individuals with disabilities with people without disabilities in order to promote awareness of challenges and to encourage teambuilding
  3. Use the game of hockey to assist individuals with disabilities in developing        characteristics such as dependability, self-reliance, confidence, concentration,    willingness to share and personal accountability that will help the individual be more successful both within and outside a hockey environment
  4. Educate the general public about disability sports and special hockey in particular and to promote societal awareness of the challenges and needs of persons who have developmental and physical disabilities.

UCT has been supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for over 65 years. Becoming the national sponsor of ASHA (American Special Hockey Association) 6 years ago allowed UCT to continue our efforts and support.  In addition to the UCT Gives Back video contest for special hockey, UCT also offers several other areas of support for special hockey programs in North America.  UCT donates $15,000 annually to ASHA; UCT donates $3,000 annually to SHI (Special Hockey International); UCT hosts the annual UCT Winter Hockey Festival; UCT has created the Kaye Trainer International Capital Campaign; and more!

Learn more about UCT and our passion for helping our local communities at www.uct.org.

Congratulations again to all special hockey teams who participated in the UCT Gives Back Video Contest! #uctgivesback

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