We've been busy with lots of events and activities over the past couple months, and have one big announcement to share with you in this edition.
The US Olympic Committee has named STARskaters as one of their newest Sport Club members. Read all about it in this issue.
With the heat of summer, Sled Hockey at Ice Skate USA at Memorial City continues to be a cool way to spend Saturday mornings.
We also recently hosted an event for a Junior Wheelchair group at Memorial City, as well as exhibited at the Metal & Muscle Expo at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Doing some summer cleaning? Clear out your stuff and donate the proceeds to STARskaters with an online eBay fundraiser. See the article below for details.
And, as always, if you know of anyone would could benefit from any of the STARskaters programs, direct them to our web site at www.STARskaters.org
Enjoy your summer and we hope to see you on the ice!
STARskaters added as U.S. Paralympic Sport Club
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic committee, announced STARskaters.org was one of six new Paralympic Sport Clubs. (read the story from USOC here ).
Sport clubs offer ongoing sports and recreation opportunities to individuals with physical and visual disabilities in their communities.
Research proves daily physical activity raises self-esteem, helps individuals develop peer relationships, increases achievement, enhances overall health and improves quality of life.
U.S. Paralympics partners with hundreds of community organizations across the country, like STARskaters, to help grow access to daily physical activity programs for individuals with physical and visual disabilities, with an emphasis on youth and injured service members.
The Paralympic Sport Club network now includes 136 community organizations, in 38 states, across the U.S. using sport and recreation to improve the lives of individuals with physical and visual disabilities. For more information, visit www.USParalympics.org/SportClubs
Sled Hockey at Ice Skate USA
Memorial City Ice Rink Donates Practice Ice Time
Photo by Fred Trask
Sled Hockey Saturdays!
Thanks to a generous donation of ice time from Ice Skate USA
at Memorial City Mall,
Sled Hockey now has a regular Saturday morning ice slot from 10am-11am for those who would like to give the sport a try.
No prior ice skating or hockey experience is needed, and all costs are covered by STARskaters.org thanks to our generous donors, sponsors and volunteers.
For more information on Sled Hockey, check out the Video, Audio & Social Media section of this newsletter, visit www.STARskaters.org
or contact us at sledhockey@STARskaters.org
Junior Wheelchair Group on Ice
Question: What is the coolest thing your group can do when it is 100 degrees in Houston?
Answer: Join STARskaters on the ice for some very cool fun.
That's exactly what a junior wheelchair group from the West Gray Adaptive Recreation Center did recently at Ice Skate USA
who generously donated the ice time for this event.
As you can see by the many smiles, a great crowd was on hand, most of whom were enjoying their first time on the ice.
The group started with lunch, then took to the ice in sleds and some even rolled their chairs out on the ice. Whether on a sled or in a chair, there were smiles all around. We can't wait to have them back with us again soon!
For more information about how you can hold a STAR skate event for your group visit www.STARskaters.org
Special Needs Skating Lessons
Saturdays at 10:45 am at Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center
Every Saturday morning, BL Wylie and her staff of U.S. Figure Skating trained instructors take the ice to teach the Basic Skills Therapeutic Curriculum to skaters with a wide range of special needs.
The program and B.L. Wylie were recently featured in an article in U.S. Figure Skating "Club Spotlight". Click here
to read the article.
This program offers the opportunity to achieve specified skills through a set of 14 carefully constructed levels. In addition to the excitement of learning new things each class, newly designed badges can be earned to signify success at each new skill level.
If you'd like to get involved, we do have special equipment needs for our skaters. Special adaptive equipment is needed to help provide balance and the ability to be upright on their own feet and legs. Some of this needs to be specially designed for each skaters particular need..
This special equipment will help those skaters progress through the badge program. If you can donate your expertise or money to make this happen, contact us at donate@STARskaters.org
And, if you know of someone who could benefit from this special needs skating program, or for more information, contact BL@STARskaters.org
STARskaters at Metal & Muscle
STARskater's was pleased to be invited to attend our first ever "Metal and Muscle" Expo at the George R. Brown Convention Center, and it was a great day for all.
The event showcased the many adaptive sports available in the Houston area, as well as many vendor exhibits.
Attendees had the opportunity to watch and participate in wheelchair basketball, power soccer, wheelchair soccer, rugby, vollyball and much more.
Attendees visiting the STARskaters booth were able to view a Sled Hockey sled and other equipment, and view this recent feature story on Sled Hockey broadcast on KPRC.
|STARskaters Sled Hockey report on NBC2 KPRC Houston|
For more information about adaptive sports in Houston, check out www.HoustonAdaptiveSports.com
Ebay Fundraiser for STARskaters
Bid on our items, or hold your own eBay auction!
Many individuals and companies have generously donated items to help STARskaters raise the money needed to operate our programs.
These items are then listed on eBay to allow bidders from Houston and around the USA to bid on the items.
Items are generally sports related and are updated regularly online.
If you'd like to see what's is currently available for bidding, go to: http://myworld.ebay.com/starskaters
If you'd like to hold your OWN auction on eBay to benefit STARskaters, CLICK HERE
to learn more.
And, if you have an item you'd like to donate, contact us at donate@STARskaters.org
New STAR Brochure Available
Online PDF available by clicking here
Look for the 2011 STARskaters brochure at area ice rinks, at sponsor locations and the Toyota Center at the STARskaters.org table at most Houston AEROS games.
Inside, you'll read about the history of Sled Hockey and learn more about STARskaters programs:
- Special needs skating lessons.
- Sled Hockey.
- STAR Skate events.
You can also read more about how you can get involved in the STARskaters program as a volunteer, donor or organizing a STAR Skate for groups with special needs.
If you would like a supply of brochures shipped to you, contact jim@STARskaters.org
mission is to provide an on ice skating experience for therapy and recreation for children and adults with any special needs, and to support SLED HOCKEY in Houston.
The program is open to anyone five years of age or older who would normally be unable to enjoy an on-ice skating experience due to their disability.
STARskaters.org is public charity registered in Texas as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Tax ID number 26-1657556.
All donations are tax deductible.
Ask Fred Trask what he does for a living, and he'll say "I break things". It's part of his job as an engineer with Schlumberger.
But, when he's not breaking things, he's taking spectacular photos, and generously donating his time and resources to STARskaters.org
Check out the STARskaters Facebook page and you'll see many great photos taken by Fred. Houston AEROS hockey fans may also be familiar with his work as he has taken thousands of shots of the AEROS in action over the years.
Recently, Fred heard that STARskaters was in need of a high back sled for one of our new young sledders who needed additional back support due to his disability.
STARskaters soon found out that Fred not only "break things" but he also makes things happen. Thanks to his generous donation, we will soon be adding this "Icey-1" high back Sled to our fleet.
Arriving in early August, this new high back sled will be know as the "Fred Sled" thanks to Fred's kind donation.
If you'd information on becoming a STARskaters donor, contact us at:
Volunteers Blaine Dow and Emma Bloor
Emma started skating and playing hockey about 4 years ago. She remembers "Blaine and my son Jack had to hold me up for my first time on the ice!"
She started playing ice hockey in a novice league in Sugar Land once she mastered being vertical on the ice without assistance.
It was through this hockey league that Emma met STARskaters founder Jim O'Neill and volunteered to help out at a STARskaters event for kids in Sugar Land.
Emma says "It was so much fun I jumped at the chance of participating when the ice time opened up at Memorial. I don't consider myself a volunteer or a helper on Saturdays, to me it's another opportunity to play some hockey with a fun group of people."
Blaine has been skating and playing hockey since he was 4 years old. Like most Canadian kids, his dad would flood the back yard so he and his two older brothers could get in as much skating as possible.
Blaine arrived in Houston 5 years ago, and Emma's enthusiasm for hockey brought him back into the game. "It's really because of her that I am now playing more hockey in Texas than I ever was able to play growing up in Canada" says Blaine. "It is the excitement of seeing her drive to improve that makes Saturdays so exceptional for us. Mainly it's a great pleasure to be a part of seeing new hockey players catch the bug and tray to improve their game."
STARskaters would like to express our sincere thanks to both Emma and Blaine for their generous donation of their time and experience on Saturdays as we continue to grow Sled Hockey in Houston.
We are extremely fortunate to have such enthusiastic volunteers participating with us each week and extend a big THANK YOU for spending part of your weekends with us on the ice.
If you'd like to get involved, contact us at volunteer@STARskaters.org