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Southern Tier athletes score big on huge hockey gear donation

(VESTAL) — A generous gift from hockey manufacturer Bauer will soon help Southern Tier athletes and dozens more across the United States.

“Unbelievable,” said Jen O’Brien, American Special Hockey Association’s Executive Director. “I was very excited.”

She is still speechless after Bauer sent the volunteer organization close to 1,000 pairs of skates, sticks, pads and other hockey gear.

“You cant imagine what it’s like when you get a call saying ‘Can you handle quantities?'”, explained O’Brien. “There was no way that I thought a thousand were coming.”

American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) serves more than 80 hockey teams across the United States, which has welcomed thousands of athletes with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities.

“A lot of them don’t have the money to get new equipment,” said O’Brien’s daughter Maggie. She is a junior coach on the local ASHA team, the Johnson City Ice Hawks.

‘It’s very exciting to hear when a bunch of people want to play, they have the opportunity to play and have the equipment to play,” said Maggie O’Brien who works to show athletes that they, “don’t have limits and can do what they want.”

The gear will soon be shipped to 84 teams across the country so players in special hockey programs can learn more through training and educational support. More information on ASHA can be found here.

Michael Schwartz

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