SUNRISE, FLA. (WSVN) - The Florida Panthers have partnered with different organizations across South Florida to make sure all kids can learn and play the great game of hockey.
For the kids from the Lighthouse of Broward, playing floor hockey isn’t about what they see, but what they hear.
“The way I know how to explain my vision to people is if you cover your right eye with the palm of your hand and you kind of go like this with your left eye, that’s about all I can see,” said hockey enthusiast Sydney Delcontivo. “I have no peripheral vision in my left eye. I’m essentially legally blind.”
The 17-year-old was among the 10 kids who the Florida Panthers hosted for their blind hockey clinic for the visually impaired.
There were no pucks but rather balls with bells inside.
The goal was equipped with beeping horns so they knew where to aim.
“We wanted to introduce the game of hockey to as many kids as we can,” said John Colombo, Senior Director of the Panther Foundation. “Being visually impaired, some people think that it would stand in the way of them being able to play so making a few minor adjustments for us is an awesome opportunity for them to get out here and play the game.”
Aside from being on the area floor, the kids took shots and scored goals during the day-long visit to the BB&T Center.
They also went to the press box and the Panthers Den of Honor.
It was all part of the program for the Lighthouse of Broward for the blind and visually impaired.
“We just want them to enjoy and know that there are things out there that they can learn from, have fun and be a part of their lives for the future,” said Lighthouse of Broward teacher Kara Troy.
Delcontivo has been to Panther games and even met players in the past.
“I can see the players and I can see the sticks,” she said. “I can’t always follow the puck because I have trouble tracking but I can see the players and stuff.”
Delcontivo said she wants a career working in hockey.
“I want to eventually be a general manager, that’s the end goal,” she said, “but I would be happy with any position in management. I just love it and my parents have always told me to do what you love and yeah, I love it so just sticking with my passion.”
The Panthers plan on hosting kids from the Lighthouse of Broward for games this upcoming season.
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