Westman VOLT Hockey has received $10,000 through Westoba Credit Union's Inspire granting program, the sport that can be played on most any hard surface like a basketball court or gymnasium.  

'Originating in Sweden, the sport of Volt Hockey features players facing different unique abilities or developmental challenges guiding 120-pound, battery-charged chairs via a joystick. A hockey blade is mounted at the front of each cart so players can flick the ball into the other team’s net. As a new sport to Canada and the only club of its kind in the Westman area, Westman Volt Hockey is an inclusive sport that has built a community that intends to grow,' states Westoba's most recent news release.

"VOLT hockey is an inclusive sport for people, kids, adolescents and adults, either with physical, mobile or intellectual disabilities," explains co-founder of the Westman team Chad Wallin.  "It's inclusive for them because it gives them the opportunity to be part of a team while participating in a sport and learning life skills, social skills, and it gets them off the sidelines and into a game, and for some of them for the first time in their lives."

The Westman VOLT team started with Brandon family Chad and Michelle Wallin and their twin boys, Zander and Sawyer.  The boys are now 15 and according to Chad, they're both sports fanatics.  Sawyer is very active in the sports community playing a number of different sports, but a cerebral palsy diagnosis at around 2 years old has limited brother Zander's abilities in the sports world.

"So, Zander was always relegated to the sidelines cheering his brother on, so we have always been looking for a sport that Zander could participate in," shares dad Chad, "and oftentimes there was not much opportunity for him, or there was a gap. And then Covid came and shut a lot of the activities down. So, we did some research to try and find a sport that would be inclusive."

"My wife works in the school division, in the life-skills program predominately," continues Chad, "and she sees a need for outlets for kids like Zander to participate in something and luckily we stumbled across VOLT hockey."

This is their second year of coaching participants in this new sport and now include close to 30 participants at various ages and abilities.

“We range in age from 8 to 58 and all abilities,” says Chad Wallin. "For many of our players, this is the first time they have had the opportunity to play a sport, to be on a team, to participate in competition.”

Westman Volt Hockey currently meets weekly at the Keystone Centre. “We have been very fortunate to have rental space available at the Keystone Centre that allows us to keep our arena set up and our game chairs stored; having to move out for larger events taking place, does disrupt our season but for now, this is working well for us, and we are grateful to have this facility.”

Wallin said enrollment in the sport continues to increase and they may need to expand the program to accommodate more players. “Right now, we run weekly for 3 hours. With more people wanting to play, we are looking at our options so we can allow more players to have this opportunity.”

Westoba Credit Union was proud to announce the $10,000.00 in funding from the Westoba Inspire program earlier this month in support of the Westman Volt Hockey initiative.

Members from the Westoba Board and Executive team were treated to a demo of the Volt Hockey Sport and were impressed by the passion shared by the volunteers and players involved in this inclusive sport.  “Maneuvering this chair is harder than it looks,” said Westoba President and CEO, Jim Rediger. “I’m impressed with the skill and dexterity the players have developed in the short time this sport has been established in Brandon; investing in this sport aligns with the innovative thinking and inclusion Westoba prides itself on.”

Funding from Westoba Inspire has been used to purchase new arena boards which helps the team to structure their games.

As the 2023 National Volt Hockey Champions, the club has their sights set on the world championship that takes place annually in Sweden.

"Taking our players to Sweden to compete is a dream,” said Wallin. “We never imagined how quickly our players would adapt to the game but now with a National Championship under us, a World Championship competition is our next goal.”

Please listen to more with Chad Wallin below and do check out their Facebook Page for more information by clicking HERE!

For more information about this project contact: Chad Wallin: 204-720-2922 ~ email:  chad@joebeeverz.com