This program has been operating out of Grandravine Arena in North York, since October 1980. It was started with just 2 players by Patrick V. Flick who had been affiliated with the Grandravine Athletic Association since 1970. He had this dream. Why not Ice Hockey for the developmentally challenged. The rest of the story is history.
In 1994 The Grandravine Tornadoes became a traveling team. They flew to St. Louis M0 for their first International Hockey Tournament with the Gateway Locomotives. There has been an International Hockey Tournament held every year since, alternating between the USA and Canada. This tournament is known as the Special Hockey International Tournament sponsored by Special Hockey International.
We have been asked what has made this hockey successful. We believe that it is not the disability that is a factor, but rather their abilities and fulfillment that the players gain. Many of them watch Hockey Night in Canada and they have their favourite hockey players and know all about the game. They just want a chance to play. We have outstanding volunteers that work with our athletes every week.
What do the players get out of it? Good exercise, social interaction, self-confidence and self-esteem. And a whole lot of fun. It has become very important, not only to the athlete but to the whole family, as everyone is making new friends.
Grandravine Special Hockey is open to male and female ice hockey players with ages ranging from 6 to 60. They are on the ice approximately 26 weeks out of the year. They play games against each other as well as other regional special hockey teams. And every year everyone has the opportunity to participate in the SHI international tournament. In addition there are social events such as a bowling party,dance, or attending a Marlies game.
Our Skills Development Program will assist the beginner to learn to skate and fundamental hockey skills. Our dedicated group of volunteer coaches work with these players of all ages, even one-on-one if necessary, to build their skills and confidence. When they are ready they can join one of the regular teams. If you would like to see our pamphlet in PDF format click on Pamphlet.
If you would like to get involved either as a player or as a volunteer coach please contact:
Joe Rizzuto by email
or call 416-245-7601
The Grandravine Special Hockey is committed to providing a hockey program for developmentally challenged individuals at as low a fee as possible. The low registration fee does not come close to covering expenses. We are also committed to the principle that we will not turn anyone away for financial reasons. We receive no government grants and as such are always looking for sponsorships, donations or other financial help.
We are a registered Canadian charity. Reg. # 85830 5501 RR0001
We will issue tax receipts.
If you can help financially in any way please contact:
Michael Liotta by email
or call 416-621-2509