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Cammer Cup at Amelia Park to Benefit Area Sled Hockey Teams

WESTFIELD — The Western Mass Knights sled hockey teams will host the sixth annual Cammer Cup game at Amelia Park Arena, 21 South Broad St., Westfield, on Saturday, March 19, starting at 5 p.m.

The event will feature a celebrity face-off at 5 p.m. vs. the Western Mass Jr. Knights (18 and under), and at 6 p.m. the Western Mass Knights (adults) will take on the Charter Oak Men’s League team. The games celebrate the memory of the Knights’ late teammate Alex Camerlin. Tickets cost $10 each, and proceeds will benefit the Knights adult and junior sled-hockey programs.

“This is the event we mark on our calendars each year,” said Carole Appleton, executive director of Amelia Park Arena. “I knew Alex personally, and everyone misses him so much. This game gives the sled-hockey athletes the opportunity to show the community that they are so much more than a physically challenged team, that they are hockey athletes who work hard and want to win, just like Alex always did.”

The celebrity face-off game will feature local media and political celebrities getting in hockey sleds and experiencing the game first-hand against the Western Mass Jr. Knights team. The celebrities scheduled to appear include Shaggy (KIX 100.9), Bob Kester (Rock 102), Pat Kelly (Lazer 99.3), state Rep. John Velis, state Rep. Brian Ashe, and Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan.

According to the Northeast Sled Hockey League, sled hockey is the fast, exciting, rough-and-tumble version of ice hockey played primarily by people with lower-limb mobility impairments. The game is essentially the same as ‘stand-up’ ice hockey, the major difference being that the players use a sled with two hockey skate blades mounted under a seat. Among sports for disabled athletes, sled hockey is different because able-bodied athletes can play, and they have no advantage over disabled athletes.

The Knights and Junior Knights teams include players ranging in age from 8 to 63 on teams of both mixed gender and mixed ability. The junior team is organized by Disability Resources, a program of Center for Human Development (CHD), a nonprofit organization that delivers a broad array of critical social and mental-health services to more than 18,000 people each year in Western Mass. and Connecticut. Both teams are based out of Amelia Park Ice Arena.

Tickets for the sixth annual Cammer Cup game are available through local players, from CHD, and at the door the day of the event.

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