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The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation supported the launch of a new organization, Hockey Sticks Together, during the 2016.17 season. Hockey Sticks Together unites the below programs under one umbrella to fulfill the NHL's "Hockey is for Everyone" initiative.

Mighty Penguins

The sport of sled hockey provides a means for physically challenged individuals to play competitive ice hockey. Participants enjoy the physical activity, while the program also builds self-esteem and an opportunity to be a part of a competitive team. The Mighty Penguins were formed by volunteers from Shriners Hospital in Erie in May of 1998. Initially, the goal was to provide children and young adults with physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in a competitive sport. The parents and guardians of these players have seen firsthand the physical and emotional benefits of the program. Many local organizations have helped the Mighty Penguins program by donating ice time, equipment, customized hockey gear and insurance. Individuals throughout the area volunteer their time and talents to educate and assist the players. In addition, the Mighty Penguins are supported by a Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

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Steel City Icebergs

The Pittsburgh Special Hockey Program is an adaptive ice hockey program for both children and adults with developmental disabilities including autism, Down Syndrome and traumatic brain injuries. It focuses on teaching children and adults to play ice hockey in an environment specialized to each individual’s ability. The Steel City Icebergs program is led by dedicated volunteers and USA Hockey adult coaches. Collegiate and youth ice hockey players assist the coaching staff, which allows for a low player-to-coach ratio. In addition, it provides an environment for peer interaction to help the participants learn and form meaningful relationships.

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Pittsburgh I.C.E.

Pittsburgh I.C.E. (Inclusion Creates Equality) was established in 2000 to afford an opportunity to children with financial restraints to experience all aspects of the game of ice hockey. The program was created with the support of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Penguins Alumni Association. The Pittsburgh I.C.E. program provides disadvantaged children in the Pittsburgh area the opportunity to learn and experience the game of ice hockey at no cost.

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Envision’s mission is to provide youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired with the opportunity to participate in blind ice hockey, build friendships, encourage teamwork, and share an exciting experience with other athletes, volunteers and coaches. Envision is able to give youth and adult athletes, who never thought it would be possible to play a sport like hockey, the opportunity to be a part of this great game. By participating in USA Hockey events, VIP Sports Camps, Try Hockey events, and Canadian Blind Hockey tournaments, Envision’s athletes, volunteers and coaches have shown tremendous growth in the sport of blind ice hockey since the program’s start during the summer of 2016.

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UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex & Youth Hockey Development

The Pittsburgh Penguins organization, in partnership with the Penguins Foundation, has created a vast array of youth hockey initiatives to engage children of all ages. Programs run the gamut of providing instruction to develop basic skills, teaching safety and good nutrition, encouraging teamwork, enhancing the athletes’ knowledge of the game, and acknowledging their accomplishments. To learn more about upcoming camps, clinics, leagues, and tournaments for hockey players of all levels, visit our friends at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex or contact the Penguins Foundation directly.

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