2017 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament

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2017 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament

Brought to you by CNIB – Canadian National Institute for the Blind


Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament returns to Toronto March 24 – 26

Fifth annual tournament has record number of US players as parasport quickly grows across North America; Entire tournament to be broadcast in HD free of charge


TORONTO, ON – This weekend, the Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament returns to Toronto for the fifth consecutive year, and will showcase the best Blind Hockey players in the world as they compete in three different divisions throughout the weekend – including the brand new Low Vision and Development Division. The event is organized by registered charity Canadian Blind Hockey, presented by AMI – Accessible Media Inc., and brought to you by the CNIB – Canadian National Institute for the Blind. The entire tournament will be streamed live for free in HD, with professional play-by-play to make the sport accessible to all fans. Mike Ross, current public address announcer for the Toronto Maple Leafs, will provide colour commentary for all Select Division games during the tournament on the online broadcast, which will also be carried on the AMI-audio television channel. The event once again takes place at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Center at the Gardens (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) from Friday, March 24 through Sunday, March 26.  Admission is free and open to the public. This year’s event marks the most US players participating in the tournament, and highlights the increase in profile of both the tournament and sport of Blind Hockey in Canada and abroad. “We have seen tremendous growth over the past five years”, says Canadian Blind Hockey President, and Blind Hockey goalie, Gary Steeves. “At the inaugural 2013 tournament, we only had three teams represented. This year, we have players from nine different Blind Hockey programs across North America. We’ve had growth in every area; more teams, more total players, more female players, more US players. It’s incredibly encouraging as we push to grow the sport internationally on our quest for Paralympic inclusion”. With US programs growing rapidly, Canadian Blind Hockey is searching for other countries to start competitive Blind Hockey programs, with the goal of founding a Blind Ice Hockey World Championships, and growing the sport in time to apply for inclusion in the 2026 Paralympic Games. Driving the push to international competition, the Select Division is the most competitive stream of the tournament. The division uses both the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) classification system, as well as a point system to ensure each team has the same approximate amount of vision on the ice at all times. In staying true to Canadian Blind Hockey’s mission to make hockey inclusive for all individuals who are blind or partially sighted, the 2017 tournament marks the introduction of the Low Vision and Development Division. This stream will primarily include players who are extremely low vision or completely blind.  There will also be some players in this division who have more vision, but are newer to skating and the sport of hockey. Game Schedule Friday, March 24       4:15 pm – 4:30 pm            Opening Ceremonies 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm            Select Game # 1 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm            Open Game # 1 7:45 pm – 9:15 pm            Low Vision and Development Game # 1 Saturday, March 25             1:30 pm – 3:00 pm            Select Game # 2 3:15 pm – 4:30 pm            Open Game # 2 4:45 pm – 6:00 pm            Low Vision and Development Game # 2 Sunday, March 26     9:00 am – 10:15 am           Low Vision and Development Game # 3 10:30 am – 11:45 am        Open Division Game # 3 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm          Select Division Game # 3 Canadian Blind Hockey would like to thank the 2017 sponsors, AMI-Accessible Media Inc., CNIB – Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Ryerson University, Mattamy Athletic Centre, CCM, Toronto Education Workers, Electra Health Floor, Washington Kids Foundation, Vancouver Canucks Alumni, Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, CanadiaLog, York Lions Club, Toronto Lions, First Line Promotional Wear and the GTHL for supporting this event. Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is a not-for-profit multimedia organization serving more than five million Canadians who are blind, partially sighted, deaf, hard of hearing, mobility or print restricted. Operating three broadcast services, AMI-tv and AMI-audio in English and AMI-télé in French, AMI’s mission is to make accessible media for all Canadians. To learn more visit AMI.ca and AMItele.ca. For more information on Blind Hockey and the 2017 Canadian National Blind Hockey Tournament, please visit blindicehockey.com, or follow on social media @CDNBlindHockey on Twitter or Canadian Blind Hockey on Facebook. For media requests or additional information, please contact: Nick Beatty Communications Director nickbeatty@blindicehockey.com 778-828-0827