Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports is making hockey more accessible to everyone.
“From the first time some of these athletes come out here, to now, their growth and their bravery, and courage, and strength to get out here and do what they love is really cool to see,” says Drew Hanson, Executive Director of Prairie Grit Adaptive Sports.
The non-profit provides the sleds and gear to remove barriers from the game.
“Some of the kids and participants and athletes we have aren’t able to push themselves so we do have volunteers here that help out,” says Hanson.
Although many of the athletes, here, are children, Prairie Grit welcomes all ages -even if you don’t know anything about hockey.
“I came out here and was like, ‘Hockey sticks? I’m supposed to do what?’ and they put me out on the ice and it was a whole bunch of little kids and me, and they were doing circles, and I’m like ‘turtling,'” says Cameon Eisenzimmer, New Prairie Grit Athlete.
The athletes were joined by a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team known for their Miracle on Ice.
“Seeing that the smiles on everybody’s faces when getting on the ice. That’s as close to the feeling I have when I come in the rink and I go on the ice. There’s no better place, for me, than in an arena, on the ice, skating around,” says Dave Christian, Professional Hockey Player.
Christian visited with the athletes and learned how to play hockey from a new perspective.
“To meet somebody like Dave is a once in a life time opportunity, you know. He came up and shook my hand and he said, ‘Oh, so you’re a hockey player.’ You know, to him, we’re the same as everybody else,” says Eisenzimmer.
A memory, she says, that will last a lifetime.
Prairie Grit is holding its inaugural banquet and family social tonight. Afterwards, 32 Below will perform a concert at Minot’s Sleep Inn & Suites that is open to the public. Tickets are $10 at the door. Click Here to visit Prairie Grit’s Facebook page and find out more about the Program.