Sled ice hockey league offers thrills

Francisco Olivares, 11, is a member of the New York Sled Rangers team.

A sled hockey league is offering disabled youths an opportunity to have some fun on the ice.

A sled hockey league is offering disabled youths an opportunity to have some fun on the ice. (1/26/14)

THE BRONX - A sled hockey league is offering disabled youths an opportunity to have some fun on the ice.

Francisco Olivares, 11, is a member of the New York Sled Rangers team, sponsored by the Wheelchair Sports Federation. He has spina bifida, but he doesn't let it slow him down.

The game has the same rules as hockey, but instead of standing, players sit on sleds and use shortened sticks.

As the youngster grows into a mega-force on the ice rink, his mom says the game has changed the way he sees himself. Francisco agrees that the team is a great support network.

"They know what I'm going through, like my problems and being nervous with other people because they think that I can't do a lot of things," he says.

The league is holding a fundraising event on Feb. 5 at the Bryant Park ice rink to raise money for equipment, and also to encourage other young people to join.

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