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Paralympic Sport Club
STARskaters is a USOC Paralympic Sport Club
Thanks to CBS Radio for their coverage of two upcoming events - Sled Hockey Weekend and Abilities Expo Weekend, August 5-7th, and the Youth Access to Sports sampling event to be held August 20th at Memorial City Mall. Read more about the events and listen to the interview by clicking the links in the CBS article below.

September is the Annual STARskaters Golf Tournament, this year to be held Sept. 29th at Cinco Ranch in association with the Houston Amateur Hockey Association.

In this issue read about the fantastic donation of Ice Cruizers made by STAR supporter Jim Knappenberger that were put to immediate use!

Did you know we have a STAR store?  Click here to support STARskaters and get some great gear!  

If you are an Amazon user, you can donate while you shop!  It costs you $0, just designate STARskaters as your charity of choice and log in using - read below for details or donate directly online at

Special THANKS to our Ice Rink Partners - Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center, Ice Skate USA at Memorial City Mall, Bellerive Ice Center and the AERODROME  for their ongoing weekly program support for STAR's Sled Hockey and SkateTherapy programs.
Next time you're visitng these rinks, please be sure and let them know how much you appreciate their support!

Jim O'Neill

STARskaters on CBS Radio

Former Texan Seth Payne and Mike Meltser of CBS interview founder Jim O'Neill and Sled Captain Andy Toppin

Big thanks to CBS Radio for two recent interviews they aired about upcoming STARskaters events, Sled Hockey weekend and the first-ever Youth Access to Sports event.

SportsRadio610's morning team of Seth Payne and Mike Meltser invited STARskaters founder Jim O'Neill and Houston Sled Hockey Captain Andy Toppin in-studio and were joined on the phone by two time Sled Hockey Gold Medalist Andy Yohe on the phone.  The interview focused on the Sled Hockey Weekend and Abilities Expo August 5-7th in Houston.  Click here to listen to the full interview . 
The "Triple threat" of Sean Pendergast, Ted Johnson and Rich Lord aired a phone interview with Jim O'Neill about the Youth Access to Sports event which will be held August 20th at Memorial City Mall.

The mission is reduce childhood obesity and get ALL children more active by holding a sports sampling event to learn about the many sports available in the Houston area.  

Abilities Expo and Sled Hockey Weekend 2016

Abilities Expo 2014 STARskaters will again participate in the Abilities Expo Friday-Sunday at NRG Hall "E" just northeast of the Texans football stadium.


Come visit us in booth #352 and learn about SkateTherapy and Sled Hockey programs.  


You can also try Sled Hockey on WHEELS Saturday at 2:45pm-3:45pm at Abilities Expo.  The Expo runs all weekend, hours are from 11am-5pm Friday and Saturday and 11am-4pm on Sunday.


Sled Hockey players from Dallas and Austin will be in town to practice and compete agains our Houston players.  


And, anyone who'd like to TRY SLED HOCKEY FOR FREE can do so during the weekend.


Ice times will be:

  • Saturday Aug 6th
    • 10am-11am at Memorial City Mall.
    • 5pm-7pm at Willowbrook Aerodrome
  • Sunday Aug 7th 
    • 10am-12:30pm at Willowbrook Aerodrome

  Come on out to give the sport a try, or just watch some of the best players in the state play the COOLEST sport on the planet!


SkateTherapy in Chronicle  
Recently the Houston Chronicle feature a story on the program, including the story of  Kevin Xu.

Kevin has participated in Skate Therapy for three years. He struggles with attention deficit disorder and is on the autism spectrum with Asperger's syndrome. 
Initially, his mom took him to a regular ice-skating class. "He was there for a couple months. The teacher said the (class) was not for him," Xu said.  But believes everyone should get a chance to try.

Kevin enjoys the Skate Therapy class, which helps him with his muscle development and coordination.

"He likes it a lot," Xu said. "Here, he's got one-on-one attention. It's really a blessing that this is here."

Click here to read the full article. 

If you know of anyone who could benefit from the SkateTherapy program, contact
Youth Access to Sports Event August 20th at Memorial City Mall

In America, fewer than half of children aged 6 to 11 meet the U.S. Surgeon General's recommendation to engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
Only 40% of kids played team sports on a regular basis in 2013, down from 44.5% in 2008. This decline translates into 2.6 million kids no longer playing or being physically active.

In an effort to combat this trend, STARskaters has joined the Houston Access to Sports Coalition to hold the first in a series of Youth Sports Sampling events.

The event will be held from 9am-1pm at Memorial City Mall in Houston. Click here for details

  •  From 9am-11am there will be TRY SLED HOCKEY for FREE at Ice Skate USA.  
  • From 10am-1pm there will be exhibits set up at the end of the ice for youth to learn about the many sports opportunities in Houston.
Exhibits will be set up by many Houston area organizations including:

* City of Houston Adaptive Sports & Recreation
* Coach Cam
* CoachTube
* First Tee of Greater Houston
* Fun, Fair Positive Soccer
* Girls on the Run
* Houston Youth Rugby
* Neighborhood-Centers
* North Houston Skate Park
* Playworks
* SkateTherapy
* STARskaters
* Texas Sled Hockey
* US Tennis Association

Visitors who stop by every exhibit will have an opportunity to win great prizes like Houston Texans tickets and many other sports related items.

The event is FREE, just stop by and learn how to #getactivehouston

STARskaters Golf Tournament


STARskaters will be teaming up with Houston Amateur Hockey Association for this year's Golf Fundraiser.  Click here to register and for complete details. 


SAVE THE DATE of September 29th and join many Houston Hockey Legends for an afternoon of friends, fun and fundraising to support Sled Hockey in Houston.  Cost is just $75 which includes golf, range balls, and a Texas-style dinner.


Bring a few extra bucks to buy mulligans or bid on sports memorabilia, and if you'd like to sponsor s hole or a golf event (longest drive, closest to the pin or $25,000 contest hole) contact


Curling Benefit for STARskaters

The Curling Club of Houston will be hosting its second annual Labor Day weekend bonspiel at Bellerive Ice Center.  Last year's event brought teams from Texas and Oklahoma and players from across the country.  This year's bonspiel is sponsored by Phonoscope LightWave ( and net proceeds will benefit STARskaters.

The main event will run on Saturday and Sunday, September 3-4, with a novice event on Saturday for new curlers who want to try out the game and support a good cause.

For more details and to register visit to get the latest updates as details are available.

The Curling Club of Houston was founded in 1973 by a group of 
Canadians to bring an important part of their life here to Texas.  Now the club offers the opportunity for Houstonians to play the most watched sport during the Winter Olympics.  The club has a mix of players who learned the sport before moving to Houston and players who discovered the sport in Houston.

Summer Wheelchair Youth Camp 
When STARskaters was founded in 2008, the original idea was to hold group STAR Skates, like the Summer Youth Wheelchair camp events which we've done for the past several years for the cities of Houston and Pasadena.  

Ice Skate USA While the STARskaters mission has dramatically expanded to include SkateTherapy and Sled Hockey, we still hold several STAR Skate events every year and offer up a BIG THANK YOU to Carl Sasyn and his great staff at Ice Skate USA at Memorial City Mall for donating the ice for these events, as well as our weekly Sled Hockey practices.

The huge heart of the Houston skating community is why we are able to hold over 130 events every year, 100% staffed by volunteers. 

And, the smiles on everyone at the Youth Camps make it all worthwhile!

If you'd like to volunteer for any of our weekly or special events, contact
Sled Hockey Video
Great American Passtimes features SLED HOCKEY
Great American Passtimes features SLED HOCKEY

Thanks to videographer John Woods who did a fantastic job in telling the story of Sled Hockey in Houston.  He even strapped a camera to one of our players to get a first-hand view of what it is like to play the COOLEST sport on the planet!

Click the video above and enjoy...and come out and see the sport or try it for yourself on Saturdays from 10am-11am at Ice Skate USA  at Memorial City Mall. 

Amazon Smile - Shop & Support!

Here's the easiest way to support STARskaters, and it comes at NO COST to you.  All you need to do is shop AmazonSmile by pointing your browser to:,

You'll then be prompted to select a charity.  To support STARskaters, just type (all one word) STARskaters, and a % of your purchase is automatically donated to STARskaters.

You'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to STARskaters.  It's just that simple!
Click here for more information and we hope you'll choose to support STARskaters when you next shop at Amazon!

Sled Imperials at USA Hockey National Sled Hockey Tournament

When the Houston Sled Imperials took the ice in Detroit for the USA Hockey National Sled Tournament, it was the first time that all players were from the Houston area.

In the four previous Sled Hockey National Tournaments, Houston had teamed with players from Dallas and Austin to field enough players for a team.

With previous Goalie Kyle Huckaby moving on to the USA National Team, Alan Montross volunteered to take the spot in the goal crease and turned in a very impressive rookie performance.

Other firsts included Joseph Montemayor's three goal performance and Matthew Micetich as the first "push player" for the team.  With the assist from Alex Bulman, Matthew scored two goals in the tournament. 

With the loss of two players to out-of-town moves, the Imperials are in active recruiting mode.  If you know of anyone interested in trying Sled Hockey, have them contact
In This Issue
Sponsor Links

For more information, contact



Francesca's Story - Skate Therapy


Joseph's Story - Sled Hockey


Roberto's Story - Skate Therapy 


Video - What is Sled Hockey?  


Raising an Olympian - Taylor Lipsett


Get Sledding - Sled Hockey Music Video  


Sled Hockey on KPRC   


STARskaters Mission Video   


Social Media, Brochure, Audio   


Texas Sled Hockey on Facebook  


SkateTherapy on Facebook  


STARskaters Brochure - Download


STARskaters Radio Spot


SkateTherapy in Skating Magazine


STAR Supporter

Jim Knappenberger
Born in Boise, Idaho, Jim moved to Houston from Rochester, NY at the age of 14.  He's been active in Boy Scouts for the last 7 years and is a member of Troop 140 Based out of Sienna Plantation. 

Jim is a member of The Order of the Arrow (OA) commonly thought of as the National Honor Society of Boy Scouts.

When he needed to do a Service project as a requirement for Eagle Scouts, he contacted Jim O'Neill to see what the STARskaters programs needed.

After a discussion about both the Sled Hockey and SkateTherapy programs it was decided to construct one of the "Ice Cruizers" which are an important skating aid used by our participants every Saturday.  Much to our (pleasant) surprise on delivery day...there were TWO!

Jim presented the finished Cruizers to Director BL Wylie and STARskaters founder Jim O'Neill on July 30th and they were put to immediate use in the program that same day.

The "Ice Cruizer" has become an important part of the SkateTherapy program and with the incredible growth of the program there is a growing need for these to assist our new skaters.

Though Jim hasn't received his final review of the project, he's already a hero to our STAR skaters and we're confident that he will achieve Eagle Scout status and continue to soar as he attends LSU this fall. 

THANK YOU JIM for the fantastic donation!  The sturdy construction ensures that these Cruizers will continue to provide benefits to our skaters for many years to come.

STAR Volunteers
Stewart & William Russell

In retail lingo, there's BOGO (buy one get one) with the Russell twins it's VOGO - Volunteer one, get one and STARskaters players Sled Hockey players are the lucky beneficiaries of their high level hockey skills and winning attitudes.

For the past two years Stewart and William Russell have been regular fixtures Saturday mornings during STARskaters Sled Hockey practices at Memorial City Mall.  

Both brothers are excellent hockey players and their experience is very helpful in working with the Sled Hockey players.

They don't hold back at all on their slap shots while warming up the goalie, and both work with players on passing skills and helping out with the on-ice drills.

Hopefully wherever they end up in college they will still find time to make it back to Houston for Saturday Morning Sled Hockey at Memorial City Mall!

If you'd like to get involved as a volunteer either on or off the ice, please contact us at:
New STAR Store!

Show your support for STARskaters with a STAR t-shirt, koozie, or check out other special item which will be on sale as available.

Click here to check out our current items.


STAR Supporter Links
Galveston Guy Condo Rentals  


Houston Gunners Hockey Club



Quick Links



Sponsors Needed
Sled Hockey, Therapeutic Skating, Brochures and Web

If you'd like to support our Sled Hockey and SkateTherapy programs as a sponsor, we have many ways to get the word out about your business:
  • Web ads
  • Newsletter promotion
  • Event signage
  • Sled signage
  • T-shirt logos
  • Jersey sponsorship
  • Printed brochures
  • Electronic brochures
Any or all of these are available to you based on your level of sponsorship. For more, contact
STARskaters mission is to provide an on ice skating experience for therapy and recreation for children and adults with special needs, and to support Sled Hockey in Houston.

Programs are 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. is a public charity registered in Texas as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Tax ID number 26-1657556. 

All donations are tax deductible.

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STARskaters Brochure
Online PDF available by clicking here

STARbrochure 2012
Sponsors are being sought for the new and updated version of the STARskaters brochure.

The brochure is distributed at area ice rinks, sponsor locations, and at outreach events.

Inside, you'll read about the history of Sled Hockey and learn more about STARskaters programs:
  • Skate Therapy.
  • 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 distribute STARskaters brochures at your location, contact