Sheffield Steelkings are Parasport UK Club of the Year 2022
A local para ice hockey club have been named club of the year by Parasport UK after a public vote, beating off stiff competition from 10 other sporting clubs to claim the glory.
The Sheffield Steelkings Para Ice Hockey Club train weekly at iceSheffield and offer sporting opportunities to people with a lower body disability or impairment. They are the proud winners of the award after receiving the highest number of votes ever cast in this event by Parasport UK who connect disabled people with local ways to get active.
Sheffield Steelkings player coach and chairman Jake Oakley said: "For the Sheffield Steelkings to be crowned Parasport UK's Club of the Year is incredible!
“I know I speak for everyone at the club when I say we are over the moon and honoured that people took the time to vote for us and what we are doing here.
“A big thank you must go to everyone who took the time to vote for us and help us win this award.
“Since we started this club in 2014, we have gone from strength to strength, both on and off the ice. This is because we believe that 'Hockey Is for Everyone' and we try to get as many people as we can involved with the Steelkings.”
It’s been a huge year for the Steelkings as they also won the inaugural Northwest Para Ice Hockey League in March in Antwerp, Belgium.
Shaun Lough general manager at iceSheffield, run by Sheffield City Trust said: “The Steelkings are such a great bunch of athletes and we’re absolutely thrilled to see them win this award.
“Two of the players Emily McLean and Barry Grayson are also part of our Talented Athlete programme, designed to support elite athletes with realistic medal capabilities that train in our venues, and are both fantastic role models to others wanting to try out the sport.”
The Steelkings are also now working with iceSheffield and taking part in some new inclusive ice sessions on Mondays at 1.20 pm which are available to everyone. The main aim is to increase participation and the associated pathways of the activities through ice rinks, that customers may have thought were out of reach.
Jake added: “We have a busy 2023 ahead. We will be hosting inter-club games, travelling to Europe to defend our Northwest Europe Para Ice Hockey League title, launching inclusive skating sessions at iceSheffield and of course both Sheffield Steelkings teams will be competing in the British Para Ice Hockey League.
“On top of all this we will continue to grow the Steelkings and the sport and we hope the title of Parasport Club of the Year will help us do that".
The Steelkings will receive their award in person at a special Parasport 'come and try' event taking place at the English Institute of Sport Sheffield (EISS), on Monday 20th March 2023. At the event attendees will be able participate in a range of amazing adaptive and disabled sports, with the ability to connect with local clubs and continue taking part after the day.
To find out more about the inclusive session at iceSheffield please email Ryan.Ruddiforth@sheffieldcitytrust.org or if you are interested in trying para ice hockey with the Sheffield Steelkings Para Ice Hockey Club, contact them by email at: email@example.com