Cardiff Huskies: Inside Wales’ only para ice hockey team

Skating at high speeds, just inches from the ice, might not seem like the most relaxing pastime but the Cardiff Huskies wouldn’t be anywhere else on a Sunday evening.

Their players will travel for hours just to get on the ice and for most of them it’s their passion.

Ice hockey is known for its physicality and the sledge version of the sport is no different.

Players have an adapted sledge to sit on, two short stick to propel themselves and hit the puck, and a lot of safety gear.

ice hockey

The shoes give you protection on the feet and the ankles. Shin pads, body armour covers your chest, elbow pads. Helmet which has to be fully face masked again because you’re sat down so low swing of a stick could hit you in the face.

It’s a proper full contact sport here so it’s vital that you wear that protection to give you for when you hit the boards of when you hit the ice. It all hurts.

– PAUL FURBER

Para hockey

The sport is accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

Players are strapped to the sledge so everybody has the same restrictions, whether they have a disability or not.

Chris Smart is a lifelong ice hockey fan and took up the sport after breaking his knee.

It’s a very competitive high intensity sport really so everyone gets bumps and you get the occasional knocked out person.

It’s a very physical and demanding sport really as you can probably tell from the sweat dripping off my head at the moment.

– CHRIS SMART

ice hockey

Andrew Swinfon was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 18 and says he loves the sport.

I really enjoy coming down here week in week out, kitting up, and just getting on the ice playing with teammates. They’re a great bunch of guys and when you play against the other teams in the league it just a whole adrenaline rush playing the sport.

– ANDREW SWINFON

The Cardiff Huskies compete against other teams in the British Para Ice Hockey league and they travel all over the UK for a puck drop.

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