One of Tampa’s own, Monica Quimby, has the chance of a lifetime to represent Team USA on a world stage at the Women’s World Ice Sledge Hockey Festival in Norway over the next three days.
Quimby is a fiercely competitive member of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Bandits sled hockey teams. Quimby and her teammates are on a mission, along with Team Canada and Team Europe, to grow the sport of sled hockey around the world. One goal is for women’s sled hockey to finally be recognized by the International Paralympic Committee.
Canada head coach Tara Chisholm expressed her hopes for the weekend’s festivities. “It is not only an opportunity for all the top female sledge hockey players in the world to come together to play,” Chisholm said to Paralympic.org, “But also gives our organizations a chance to sit down to meet and collaborate on how to develop the women's game outside of our own countries.”
The adaptive sport of sled hockey is growing rapidly in the state of Florida and beyond. It has given many people with disabilities an opportunity to play the sport they love. In addition to some friendly competition, the clubs will also be meeting off the ice to determine ways to develop the sport throughout the rest of the world.
Each of the participating teams hold out hope that the sport will eventually grow enough to be eligible for competition in the Winter Paralympic Games.
The schedule for the weekend round-robin competition is as follows. All times are in ET:
9:45 A.M. – Canada vs. USA
3 P.M. – Canada vs. Europe
9:45 A.M. – Europe vs. Canada
3 P.M. – Europe vs. USA
10 A.M. – USA vs. Europe
2:30 P.M. – USA vs. Canada