Soldier On puts on sledge hockey demonstration at QMJHL Winter Classic

sledge hockey demonstration
The sledge hockey demonstration took place on an outdoor rink in St. Tite, Québec in February, following the Québec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) Winter Classic. Photo: Military Personnel Command

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Soldier On participants put on a sledge hockey demonstration on an outdoor rink in St. Tite, Québec in February, following the Québec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) Winter Classic.

Among the spectators at the event were the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice-Champlain. Also in attendance was Grand Chief Constant Awashish, Grand Chief of the tribal council uniting the three Atikamekw Nations and Honorary Colonel of 62 Field Artillery Regiment, Shawinigan, the first indigenous Honorary Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

The goal of the sledge hockey demonstration was to illustrate the power of sport and its role in recovery.

“In 2011, I had just received my prosthesis. I was walking a little, but stayed mostly in my wheelchair. I was embarrassed to walk in front of people,” said sledge hockey participant Gaëtan Bouchard, former member of the 5th Combat Engineer Regiment who was injured in Kandahar in 2010. He added: “It was then that Soldier On approached me and offered me the opportunity to participate in a triathlon for ill and injured soldiers in Texas. I was shocked to see others, most of them in worst shape than me, running, swimming and cycling. I had no reason to complain! Everything was different after that. Soldier On gave me the push I needed to start my recovery, to take part in sports like sledge hockey and get active…to start a new life.”

Using the transformative power of sport, Soldier On has supported more than 5,000 members since its inception in 2007, and remains committed to supporting Veterans and serving CAF members with a permanent mental health or physical injury as they adapt to their new normal and overcome their challenges.

Thanks to the generosity of Canadians, Soldier On has been able to disburse more than $6 million directly to ill and injured CAF serving members and Veterans across the country in support of their recovery.

For more information on upcoming events, or if you wish to make a donation and help support our serving members and veterans, please visit the Soldier On website.

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