[MUSIC PLAYING] LIAM MILLER: The
Philadelphia Power Play League is a league
of wheelchair users who play competitive hockey. [MUSIC PLAYING] GARY SAXTON: The
Philadelphia Power Play League is designed for
players with all disabilities. All right, now I
think we’re ready. REFEREE: You’re ready?
– I think so. REFEREE: Play. Go get him, go get him. We’re accepting of
all ages and genders, and anybody who could
drive a power chair safely and wants to play the
game is welcome to come. [MUSIC PLAYING] MONICA HILFERTY: This was
started so that people who use power wheelchair
for good daily living can have a sport just
like everyone else does. It was my son
Patrick Hilferty that started the team in about 1999. And upon his graduation
from high school, we became formally
Philadelphia Power Play. He started it in gym class
with just a couple of kids, and it’s grown to
now about 40 kids. [WHISTLE BLOWING] MONICA HILFERTY: After
our son passed away– that was May of 2017– we were approached
by the Flyers. BILL SHIPMAN: So
now, we’re affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers. I’m a big Flyers
fan, so to have them behind us as well, because
we’re affiliated, is very nice. MONICA HILFERTY: So we’re very
proud that Philadelphia Flyers Power Play is the very first
power wheelchair hockey team to have an NHL affiliation. [ROCK MUSIC] You got it.
Take it, take it. BILL SHIPMAN: We
have kids anywhere from paraplegic, who
can’t really move their arms and legs at all. And they get really good at just
controlling their wheelchairs and being able to control
where the puck goes. LIAM MILLER: Ooh,
good pass, good pass. Get back, get back, get back. ERIN GORDON: This
is the best fit I’ve found for my
functional abilities, and emphasis on ability as
opposed to what I can’t do. You got it, you got it.
Take it. Go at the wall. LUKE HOBAM: It’s nice to have a
community of disabled athletes than I can just be apart of. Cover the middle, cover
the middle, cover the middle. LUKE HOBAM: Everyone
understands each other, there’s like common
experiences, and everyone is sort of on the same page. To have this community
is just so helpful. [ROCK MUSIC] Take it, take it. It gets very
physical out there. Sometimes it’s–
it’s kind of mellow. Other times, you
want to hit somebody. So it’s good.
[GRUNT] ERIN GORDON: There’s a
reason there are rules. There are reasons
there are refs. I do it when the
ref is not looking. [LAUGHS] GARY SAXTON: Like
anything else in life, confidence is a big
thing, and I think this wheelchair hockey
league builds confidence players in the players. It’s helped me
tremendously just building confidence
like in school and communicating with others. We kind of get through
life together, which is kind of– you know, it’s good. GARY SAXTON: Good job,
good job, good job. It’s been an awesome journey,
concluding with the Power Hockey Cup this past summer. BILL SHIPMAN: We actually
won the North American Cup in Michigan this year. Don’t get rid of it. Just go. BILL SHIPMAN: These players
are as intense with this game as any professional hockey
player or any college hockey player anywhere. GARY SAXTON: First goal. LIAM MILLER: This is a
hockey league for sure, but more importantly,
I think this is a community of similar people
who go through difficult things just like everybody else. It’s about them feeling like
they don’t look different. They all feel like one big,
happy family, and they are. REFEREE: Goal. Good shot.

Power Wheelchair Hockey in Philadelphia | Localish
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