In an inspiring display of inclusivity and empowerment, the Carolina Hurricanes recently hosted a remarkable camp exclusively designed for athletes with disabilities. The event took place on Wednesday at the prestigious Invisalign Arena, where the Hurricanes' commitment to fostering diversity and promoting accessibility was brought to the forefront.
During the camp, members of the Hurricanes Sled Hockey team and the Triangle Special Hockey team showcased their skills and taught the intricacies of sled hockey to NHL players. These exceptional athletes engaged in spirited practice sessions alongside their NHL counterparts for nearly an hour, demonstrating their immense talent and unwavering determination.
Kelly Jacobi, the manager of the Hurricanes Sled Hockey team, has a deeply personal connection to the cause. Her son, Tyler, was born with spina bifida, further igniting her passion for advocating for athletes with disabilities.
Reflecting on the camp, Jacobi expressed her appreciation for the resilience exhibited by these athletes, defying the expectations that were once imposed upon them. She told CBS 17, "Especially when we were told that we couldn't, so it's just kind of proving you wrong, a little bit of spite, but it gets the fire going and it inspires us to do more and reach as many people as we can."
NHL Players Inspired by Athletes
For the NHL players, this extraordinary event held profound significance as well.
Witnessing the remarkable skills and unwavering determination of the athletes with disabilities left an indelible impression on them. Massimo Rizzo, a forward for the Hurricanes, eloquently summed up the sentiments shared by his teammates, saying, "It's cool for us to see them out there working hard, having fun, and showing us what they can do." Under Jacobi's leadership, the Hurricanes Sled Hockey team has grown significantly, with an impressive 60 to 70 participants actively competing across the region.
Their dedication to the sport and unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries has become a beacon of inspiration for others facing similar challenges. By organizing this inclusive camp, the Carolina Hurricanes have not only provided athletes with disabilities a platform to showcase their skills but also shattered stereotypes and established themselves as true champions of inclusivity.
Through their ongoing efforts, they strive to create a world where all individuals, regardless of their abilities, can pursue their passion for sports and transcend the limitations imposed upon them.