Grandravine, Ontario, 1970...Pat Flick notices a boy, who is developmentally disabled, coming to the rink to watch his brother play and finds inspiration...with two players and some ice time from Grandravine Athletic Association, special hockey was born!!!
Special hockey took a while to be discovered by us here in the U.S, but it finally found its way in 1994, when Tony Sansone founded the first team in St. Louis, Mo. Since that time, special hockey has grown rapidly around the globe and here in our own back yard.
Shortly after founding the team in St. Louis, in 1996, Tony Sansone and Pat Flick were chosen to lead SHI (Special Hockey International) as the governing body, supporting international competition for special athletes and things took off from there.
Just a couple short years after that, in 2000, special hockey had expanded so rapidly here in the United States that Mike Hickey founded ASHA (American Special Hockey Association) to help support the growing interest. By 2007, Mike and Kelly Good partnered with ASHA and the CCYHA to found the team that exists in Columbus today.
From humble beginnings in Grandravine, through the hard work of many people, the partnerships between SHI, ASHA, CCYHA, and commonly minded people continue to provide many opportunities for athletes with developmental disabilities to play ice hockey in an environment adapted to each athlete's level of physical and mental ability. Along with your CCYHA Blue Jackets, there are currently 50+ teams world-wide being governed by SHI and 20+ of those teams are here in the US, being coordinated by ASHA.