Good Luck GB Sledge Hockey

On Saturday the GB Sledge Hockey team fly’s out to Turin, Italy in order to compete for a place at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi Russia.

Between now and the 26th October we will be updating this page with messages of support from family, friends and supporters.  This will give the guys who have dedicated the past few years of their lives to representing Great Britain an indication of the support they have.

We’ve put the deposit’s on the classic mini’s with a view to arranging another getaway from Turin after a successful operation in Italy.

The best way to show your support is to go on to twitter and tweet your message using the hashtag #theitalianjob.

GBSC would like to wish the GB Sledge Hockey Team all the best for the Sochi 2014 Qualification games taking place next week. We are proud to be partners of the team and wish you all the best – Great Britain Supporters Club

On behalf of the players and fans of Basingstoke Bison I send my best wishes to the GB Sledge Hockey team in Turin.   We were proud when you chose to play in our rink last season. Make us even more proud next week. Go GB! – Doug Sheppard, Head Coach, Basingstoke Bison

BT is very proud to support Nathan Stephens, our Paralympic ambassador for the last four years, and we are delighted to now extend this support to the whole British Sledge Hockey team on the biggest tournament of their lives as they compete for a place at the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi. We’re proud to be part of their support team and we wish them all the best in Turin. – British Telecom

Everyone at Help for Heroes would like to wish the GB Sledge Hockey team huge amounts of luck for the qualification round in Turin for the Sochi Winter Paralympic Games.  We will be supporting then all, including military athlete, Lance Corporal Tyler Christopher, who we’re delighted to have assisted along his road to recovery. – Help for Heroes

EFDS encourages all disabled people to begin and continue having an active lifestyle, and if they are talented enough- to succeed in sport. This is why we are fully backing the Sledge Hockey team to reach the Paralympics in Sochi. Good luck to all the team in the qualifiers. We will be supporting you all the way! – Barry Horne, CEO, English Federation of Disability Sport

It has been fantastic seeing all the hard work that Andy Linton and the GB Sledge boys have been doing over the past few months in Coventry.  You guys are all a credit to Britain and the ice hockey playing community.  On behalf of all at MK Lightning I wish you every success in your quest for Sochi.  The very best of luck to all the players, coaches and support staff.  GO GB! – Nick Poole, Head Coach, MK Lightning

The players, coaching staff and management of Bradford City would like to wish Bantams supporter Matt Woollias all the very best for next week as he aims to qualify for the Winter Paralympics – Bradford City Football Club

Good luck to @GBSledgeHockey from all the staff, players, volunteers and fans of the Wild #honorarywildones #theitalianjob – Widnes Wild

Good luck to @GBSledgeHockey who are off to Italy today to qualify for Sochi 2014 #Sochi2014 – Ice Locker

@GBSledgeHockey good luck this weekend in Turin – Becky Adderley                         

Best of British luck to @JAVELINSTEPHENS & the @GBSledgeHockey team as they look to qualify for #Sochi2014 – C4 Paralympics

Everyone at Disability Sport Wales wishes every success to the squad for their upcoming final qualifiers for Sochi 2014 – we’re all behind you! Pob lwc!! – Jon Morgan, Disability Sport Wales

Halton Borough Council’s Disabled Children Service wishes Great Britain’s Sledge Hockey Team all the very best in Turin next week. We will be rooting for you and following your progress very closely. Good luck, we know you can do it. – Alison Upham, Halton Borough Council’s Disabled Children Service

I would like to wish all the Guys the best of luck and it would great to see your team make Sochi.  Keep up the good work – Bob Wilkinson, IHUK & EIHA

Support @GBSledgeHockey get to Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games – show your support, we are! #theitalianjob – Sport Hampshire & IOW

@GBSledgeHockey give everything, regret nothing and give them hell! All the best in Turin #theitalianjob #RoarOfALion – Banners on the Wall

Good luck to @GBSledgeHockey out in Turin. #theitalianjob – Mark Gillingham, Widnes Wild Head Coach

Good luck to @JAVELINSTEPHENS, @StephenThomas99 and the rest of the @SledgeHockey Team as they attempt to qualify for Sochi – Definitive Sports

@GBSledgeHockey good luck to you guys in Turin as you attempt to qualify for #sochi #webelieveyoucandoit – Lorraine Warring

@MatthewWoollias @GBSledgeHockey good luck in Turin, would be great to catch up with you on @bbcleeds when you get back – BBC Leeds

Good Luck to all @GBSledgeHockey in Italy. You have everything to gain. #RoadToSochi #Sochi2014 – Valerie Fraser

Kent Sport is proud to be associated with and to support the GB Sledge Hockey team in their efforts to make qualification for the 2014 winter Paralympic Games – Kent Sport

@GBSledgeHockey wishing my bro Darren Brown & the rest of his team mates BEST OF LUCK in Italy competing for a place in Sochi 2014. – Shelley Everitt

To all the guys @GBSledgeHockey. I wish you all the very ‘Best of British’ luck in Turin. #TheItalianJob #RoadToSochi – Nigel Simonds

@ParalympicsGB @GBSledgeHockey good luck from @Ski2FreedomFR @alpinefreedom

Show your support the @GBSledgeHockey team as they compete for a place at #Sochi2014. All the best from the oneathlete team. #yourtimeisnow – OneAthlete

Good luck to my brother in law Karl Nicholson and all the GB sledge hockey team in Turin. – Cerys Thomas

Good luck to @Linton72Andrew & @GBSledgeHockey with their upcoming matches #respect #heroes – Luc Johnston

Good luck to @GBSledgeHockey in next week’s qualifiers for the 2014 Paralympics. – Sue Carney

Good luck @GBSledgeHockey! Everyone back in the UK will be rooting for you next week!!! – Terri Graham

Good Luck to @GBSledgeHockey in Turin this weekend! #RoadToSochi :)Emma Catherine

Good luck GB sledge #livethedream @GBSledgeHockey  – Lisa Smith

Good Luck to @GBSledgeHockey it is time to go to Sochi! – Guy Taylor, Director, TASS

Phoenix & GB boys hard at it last night. Good luck in Turin boys #theitalianjob – Manchester Phoenix

@GBSledgeHockey Good luck lads We’re behind you #BCAFC  – Stephen Firth

Good luck to @GBSledgeHockey next week, We are all behind you! – Alistair Halliday

@GBSledgeHockey good luck with your qualifying bid – Deb Moxon

BT supports Nathan Stephens and British Sledge Hockey Association in their bid for a place at 2014 Winter Paralympic Games

BT LogoBT has today announced a partnership with the British Sledge Hockey Association to help the British team’s bid to compete at the Paralympic Games in Sochi next year.

As a long-time supporter of the Paralympic movement in the UK, BT is supporting one of its BT Ambassadors, Nathan Stephens, and his British Sledge Hockey teammates, in their attempt to qualify for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.

Nathan competed in the javelin competition at the London 2012 Paralympic Summer Games and has been part of the BT Ambassador Programme for four years.

Nathan StephensBefore becoming one of the most elite Paralympic track and field athletes in the world, Nathan was passionate about sledge hockey and competed with the last GB team to reach the Winter Paralympics in 2006 in Italy.

Nathan and his British Sledge Hockey teammates are now aiming to compete in the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

However, to be invited to the Winter Paralympic Games, they must first compete in a qualifying tournament in Turin later this month and have asked for BT’s help to fund their preparations.

The British team will compete in a six-team tournament in Turin between 20-26 October against Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea and Sweden. The three top-ranked teams at the end of the competition will then be invited to the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

British Sledge Hockey Association Elite Programme Director, John Neville, said:

“BT is a long-time supporter of the Paralympic movement in the UK and supported Nathan with his athletics career. For them to come on board and support the sledge team is another example of their commitment to the progression of disability sport and really shows how far as a sport we have come in a short space time. The support from BT and all our corporate partners such as Planet Ice and Peter Harrison Foundation means that we can travel to Italy and give ourselves the best chance of making it to the Winter Paralympic Games.”

BT Ambassador Nathan Stephens said:

“BT has supported me for the past four years and when I told them that I really needed their help, they came good again. They have been involved with Paralympic sport for over 20 years and their support to me and my teammate’s means that we can go to Turin and try and secure a place at the Winter Paralympic Games. As a team we are in the best shape of our lives and we will be doing everything in our power to qualify for Sochi.”

Suzi Williams, Group Marketing and Brand Director at BT said:

“Nathan is a great example of someone who continues to strive forward. He had a disappointing London 2012 in the javelin competition but it demonstrates his depth of character than he is bouncing-back with the determination to try and make it to the Winter Games in Sochi. When we heard about the help that the British Sledge Hockey Association needed, we were happy to help”.

BT is supporting the British Sledge Hockey Association with a grant to lessen the funding gap in the team’s preparations and will become an ‘Official Supporter’ to the team.

BT will keep its 89,000 employees up to date with Nathan Stephens and his teammate’s progress through a range of internal and external communications activity.

BSHA launch GB Shirt for Turin Paralympic Qualifying Tournament

The British Sledge Hockey Association (BSHA) have today unveiled the playing shirt to be worn by the GB team in their push for Paralympic Qualification in Turin starting on the 20th October 2013. Top British stars joining GB Captain Ian Warner will include players such as Matt Coleman from League champions, Peterborough Phantoms and Battle Back Bison’s Tyler Christopher, with newcomer Robert Allen making his debut in an IPC competition.

GB Turin Shirt

GB Turin Shirt

Shirt designer, Oliver Baron from Rhino Shirts is the creative mind behind the new GB uniform which sees a simplistic shirt being introduced. The shirt is intended to symbolise the focus the team have on obtaining Paralympic qualification with no distractions in the form of sponsorship or complex shapes.

The kit will be worn by the 15 Sledge Hockey Players selected to achieve British dreams of a Sledge Hockey team competing for a medal at the 2014 Paralympic Games to be held in Sochi next March.

Fans will have the chance to buy replica and game worn shirts through BSHA partners, the Great Britain Supporters Club (GBSC).  The GBSC have provided off-ice team wear and supported the GB team throughout the current Paralympic cycle and are committed to the BSHA ambition of producing a medal winning Sledge Hockey team in the next Paralympic cycle.

Now that the BSHA have lifted the lid on the official GB Sledge Hockey shirt, what are your thoughts on the design? Are you looking forward to seeing it in action at the qualification tournament this October? Share your thoughts and join the conversation on Twitter using @sledgehockey.

Sledge Hockey comes to Widnes

Players at Widnes Rink

Players at Widnes Rink

In partnership with Silver Blades Ice Rinks, Aiming High, Halton Council and the Manchester Phoenix Community Foundation we are delighted to announce the Sledge Hockey programme for Widnes Ice rink for the forthcoming season.

Sledge Hockey is a fast, full contact sport accessible to  to both able bodied and disabled players alike making it one of the few truly fully inclusive sports.  Widnes Ice Rink has been designed specifically to host sledge Hockey making it the first ice rink in Europe to be built specifically to host International  Paralympic Committee sanctioned events.  It is the vision of the British Sledge Hockey Association to host a World Championship event at Silver Blades Ice Rink in the Paralympic cycle following the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games.

For beginners the  programme includes a Sledge Hockey Basic’s Course.  With special equipment supplied and expert coaching from  GB Team members this is a very special opportunity to be learn the skills needed to take part.  Participants will learn to control your sledge, handle a puck, shoot, improve your fitness and balance, as well as undertaking basic drills.

The Sledge Hockey Basic’s course takes part every Thursday in term time between 8.30-9.15pm with both junior and senior beginners welcome.  The cost is £5 for members and £8 for non-members

For players that have undertaken the Sledge Hockey Basic’s course, or for those who simply want to throw themselves in at the deep end there is the chance to become part of the Manchester Phoenix Sledge hockey team who train at Widnes Ice Rink every Tuesday night.   Sessions are free  and equipment is provided.  The Manchester Phoenix Sledge Hockey team play in the top division of the Planet Ice British Sledge Hockey league and feature several Paralympians and GB players.

For all Sledge Hockey sessions contact Coach Pete Hagan or contact Widnes Ice Rink.

GB Sledge Hockey Team Selected for Paralympic Qualifiers

GB Team PhotoThe British Sledge Hockey Association (BSHA) has announced today the 14 players who will represent the Great Britain Sledge Hockey team for the Paralympic Qualifiers, to be held in Turin from the 20th to 26th October, to secure a place at the  Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games.

GB sledge hockey has not competed at a Paralympic games since Turin in 2006 with a talented team that included London 2012 Paralympic Gold Medallist, Richard Whitehead alongside World Champions Stephen Thomas (sailing) and Nathan Stephens (athletics).

Since missing out on qualifying for the last winter Paralympics in Vancouver in 2010, the BSHA has established a robust development programme and established a national league structure supported by committed stakeholders.

Over the past four years the GB team has risen consistently up the world rankings culminating in winning a bronze medal earlier this year at the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships (Pool B) in Japan.

In order to qualify for the Sochi Winter Paralympics GB must finish third and will be competing against hosts, Italy, as well as Sweden, South Korea, Germany and Japan.

The selected athletes are;

  • Ian Warner (Kingston Kestrels)
  • Gary Farmer (Peterborough Phantoms)
  • Stephen Thomas (Cardiff Devils)
  • Karl Nicholson (Manchester Phoenix)
  • Matthew Coleman (Peterborough Phantoms)
  • Matthew Clarkson (Kingston Kestrels)
  • Robin Gaze (Peterborough Phantoms)
  • Tyler Christopher (Battle Back Bisons)
  • Darren Brown (Peterborough Phantoms)
  • Matthew Woollias (Kingston Kestrels)
  • Bryan Hackworth (Kingston Kestrels)
  • Mark Briggs (Kingston Kestrels)
  • Nathan Stephens (Cardiff Devils)
  • Anthony Booth (Manchester Phoenix)

An additional four non-travelling reserves have also been chosen:  Jason Solman (Cardiff Devils), Robert Allen (Manchester Phoenix), Steven Midghall (Manchester Phoenix) and Caroline Bonner, (Coventry Honey Badgers).

There is no shortage of international experience in the squad selected today which contains 12 members of the GB team which won the Bronze medal earlier this year plus seven athletes who have competed in at least one Paralympic Games.

Elite Programme Director John Neville said:

“I’m delighted to welcome such a talented and experienced group of players to the British team for the Paralympic qualifying tournament.  The progress that the squad has achieved over the past four years is really impressive and they now have a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate their progress in Turin in October”.

“Under Andrew Linton’s leadership, the squad have developed a very fast, skilful and exciting brand of sledge hockey, which has thrilled crowds and earned plaudits around the world over the last few years. We will continue to give Andrew and his squad our full support in the vital final weeks prior to the qualifiers to ensure they have every opportunity to perform to their full potential and go onto compete on the greatest sporting stage of all at the Paralympics.

Head Coach Andrew Linton commented,

“This is the strongest team we’ve put together since my appointment as Head Coach and it couldn’t come at a more important time.  All the players in the GB programme have worked extremely hard and we are sure that their dedication on and off ice will reap its rewards in Turin.”

Wish the team good luck!  Tweet your good luck messages to @GBSledgeHockey on Twitter or visit the BSHA website at

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