The Hershey Heroes Special Hockey program teaches girls and boys with physical and cognitive disabilities, 5 years old and up, to skate and play ice hockey. The program is supported by a strong volunteer buddy-base who provide on-ice support and instruction. The Hershey Heroes is affiliated with the American Special Hockey Association and USA Hockey, each of whom offers organizational support, training aides and the opportunity to participate in regional and national events.
Hershey Heroes was founded by my Mike and Sharon Miller in 2016. The program begins with teaching players to skate independently, followed by stick and puck activities and finally to participation in games. Every player is assigned at least one buddy during each skating session. Several experienced hockey coaches also volunteer their time to teach skating and hockey fundamentals. The 2016-17 season had 6 skaters and 10 buddies. The 2017-18 season had 14 skaters, with over 20 buddies and 5 certified coaches. The goal for the 2018-19 season is to have 20-25 players with a commensurate increase in the number of buddies, while expanding the practice format to incorporate intermediate skills instruction as well.
The Hershey Heroes skate at the Hersheypark Arena or Giant Center once per week, on either Saturday or Sunday afternoons. They anticipate having 20 sessions this season along with participation in 1-2 Special Hockey tournaments within PA and surrounding states.
Adding volunteers and on-ice buddies is important to program growth, so if you are interested in helping please reach out to the program contact Mike Miller at 508-330-4819 or you can contact the Joy of Sports Foundation and we will put you in contact with Mr. Miller.