Maggie Manning enjoys her new love, sledge hockey, during a public skate at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm on March 25. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Maggie Manning enjoys her new love, sledge hockey, during a public skate at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm on March 25. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

National para-swimmer in Salmon Arm puts her energy into sledge hockey

After a hiatus from ice sports due to decreasing mobility, sledge hockey renews athlete’s love

Maggie Manning is back on the ice – and thrilled to be there.

From about kindergarten to age 14, the young Salmon Arm woman, now turning 21, loved playing ringette and hockey.

When her mobility decreased she took up swimming and excelled as a para-swimmer, reaching provincial, national and international standards.

However, currently busy with courses at Thompson Rivers University where she’s studying respiratory therapy, heavy swim training would be too much. Instead, she has discovered a new love. Sledge hockey.

“My heart has always been on the ice but I had to stop because my health deteriorated so much. That really broke my heart, but I found swimming. That’s not quite the same, it’s a different type of sport, it’s not a team sport, it’s very individualized, so starting sledge hockey has really given that freedom back.”

Born without a ball and socket hip joint, Manning has undergone many surgeries throughout her life. She is currently awaiting a hip replacement.

Sledge hockey began for her about two years ago in Prince George. Now in Kamloops at TRU, she came home to Salmon Arm during the pandemic. But she hasn’t stopped playing. Thanks to Kamloops Adapted Sports who lent her a sledge to use, she has been a familiar face at the public skating times at Shaw Centre.

One of the things she loves about sledge hockey is it is played by people with all levels and degrees of ability.

Her parents Frank and Salle Manning were at the rink on the day of the interview; they enjoy watching and her dad has joined her on occasion in Kamloops when an extra sledge has been available.

He said it’s fun and harder than it looks; it takes a lot of abdominal strength.

Maggie agrees, adding that it’s completely different from ringette.

“It’s the same sport in terms of hockey, same rules, but you’re sitting, you have two sticks, which means a lot more coordination between hands… There are still two blades on the bottom, but it’s all controlled by your abs, so it’s been a really big learning curve learning how to use my core to steer and to do all the things normally your legs would do.”

The sticks have less curvature than in hockey, so they can lay flat on the ice. Ice picks on the end of the sticks allow a player to propel themselves.

Read more: 2014 – Swimmer eyes up national time

Read more: 2018 – Going for gold: Canada aiming to top 16 medals won in Sochi

With a laugh, Maggie likens sledge hockey to bumper cars. She said it is a contact sport, and sometimes people tip over.

Gord Mackintosh, who helped out with the public skates, was pleased with the diversity of people who attended.

“We’ve encouraged all types of people. Maggie has been out to play sledge hockey, a Syrian group has been out – these kids have never skated in their life, people who haven’t skated for 20, 30 years have come out.”

Maggie said she was happy when children attended, as it exposed them to sledge hockey and varying abilities of skaters.

“I love getting people involved in the sport. It’s not just disabled people who can play, it’s almost primarily able-bodied people, especially in smaller communities, so getting other people involved in sledge hockey is a really big thing – and if it’s kids, that’s super fun. Getting them exposed to diversity and inclusion of disabilities is really important.”


marthawickett@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon Armhockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Maggie Manning gets a push from her friend Cassie Hotte at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm during public skating on March 25. (Contributed)

Maggie Manning gets a push from her friend Cassie Hotte at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm during public skating on March 25. (Contributed)

Just Posted

School District 83 trustees are expected to be discussing the current Long Range Facilities Plan options at the April 20 school board meeting. (File photo)
Letter: Let the people have their say on Salmon Arm school options

Parent encourages School District 83 board to hold off on making a decision

South Shuswap. (Google Maps)
CSRD to ask school trustees to delay decision on Salmon Arm high school options

South Shuswap director advocating for Sorrento high school option

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Public input on the City of Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget is open until 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, 2021. (City of Enderby photo)
Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget open for public input

The proposed spending plan includes a 2.2 per cent tax increase; public input open until Monday

Glenn Moyer is seeking space on a public wharf in Sicamous in order to restart his water taxi business after a year-long shutdown due to COVID-19. (Glenn’s Water Taxi/Facebook)
Water taxi operator requests public dock moorage in Sicamous

Glenn Moyer, a long time water taxi operator, is brimming with stories of life on the lake

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
‘In grief for our dying world’: B.C. climate activists embark on 4-day protest

The four-day trek on foot and by ferry will see them end at the legislature

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

Thw male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

Mervin Mascarenhas giving one of his pens to Honorary JP-MP. Premier David Burt of Bermuda. (Image: Mervin Mascarenhas)
Kelowna man who made $90K ‘Space Pen’ recognized by dignitaries, sheikhs

Mervin Mascarenhas is the first Canadian to grace the cover of Millennium Millionaire Magazine

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks to return to play Sunday versus Leafs after COVID-19 outbreak

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Most Read