BY MICHAEL MEYERS – (The following information regarding ASHA was provided through a press release to NY Hockey OnLine provided by hockey correspondent Michael Meyers, a player for the New York Raptors)
The American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) – which serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the sport of hockey – has announced a five-year strategic plan to increase its reach and impact on children and adults across the U.S.
In conjunction with that plan, ASHA also unveiled a new logo; launched a redesigned www.specialhockey.org, and named new Board of Directors and strengthened its relationship with the National Hockey League (NHL) to support inclusion efforts across the sport.
These advancements represent the spirit, diversity and authenticity of all ASHA athletes, families, and volunteers. The strategic plan focuses on five key areas:
- · Engagement: Expand ASHA’s reach and awareness to showcase the value of special hockey
- · Programming: Deliver scalable programming to help ASHA teams continue to succeed/grow
- · Operations: Strengthen ASHA’s infrastructure through innovative resources and technology
- · Expansion: Grow responsibly by consistently delivering ASHA’s mission and purpose
- · Capital: Build revenue to achieve mission, increase outreach and sustain program quality
“Special hockey is the purest form of the game,” said Jen O’Brien, ASHA Executive Director. “Our athletes embody the hope and optimism the sport brings to people around the world. Today, ASHA takes several critical steps forward in helping to make the game more diverse, accessible, and inclusive for all who believe that hockey knows no boundaries.”
“It’s important that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilitieshave the same opportunities to access the game of hockey as everyone else,” said Kim Davis, NHL Senior Executive Vice President, Social Impact, Growth Initiatives & Legislative Affairs. “Our enhanced relationship with ASHA will continue to lift up the voices of its athletes, families and volunteers who love hockey as much as we do.”