Volt hockey launches in Boston with help from Northeastern student

Dylan Hogan knew not anything of volt hockey 12 months in the past. Last weekend in Sweden, the Northeastern pre-med student discovered himself training an impressed staff of avid gamers in wheelchairs on the recreation’s inaugural World Cup.

“It turned out to be an amazing experience all around,” says Hogan, a fourth-year biology primary. “The players all really enjoyed it, and they learned so much from the start of the tournament to the end.”

Volt hockey, a recreation new to North America, is performed through other folks with disabilities in specially-designed electrical wheelchairs manufactured from wooden and shaped with a paddle on the entrance finish for controlling a ball. Teams of 3 avid gamers each and every compete to attain objectives whilst maneuvering their chairs through joystick at speeds of as much as 10 miles consistent with hour.

Headshot of Dylan Hogan
Hogan, a fourth-year biology student, realized of the game in the previous 12 months. Photo through Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Hogan was once offered to the game in a roundabout means ultimate fall whilst taking an honors route, Contemporary Issues in Health Care, taught through Lorna Hayward, a Northeastern affiliate professor of bodily treatment, motion and rehabilitation sciences. To satisfy the neighborhood carrier legal responsibility of the category, he was once assigned to Boston Self Help Center (BSHC), a nonprofit group run through and for other folks with disabilities and protracted diseases. 

Since 2012, the BSHC has been sponsoring the Boston Brakers staff in the game of energy wheelchair football, in which avid gamers with disabilities search to advance and ranking a big ball. The good fortune of that mission inspired Kim Damato, a BSHC board member whose circle of relatives operates the New England company Rehabilitation Equipment Associates, to protected $61,000 to obtain a half-dozen volt hockey chairs.

Hogan took fee of the nascent volt hockey program, referred to as the Boston Whiplash. More than 30 doable avid gamers confirmed pastime in attempting the game. 

“At the first practice, the players were introduced to how to maneuver the chairs and how to play the game,” Hogan says. “Five of the players that we brought to Sweden first met at that event.”

World Cup organizers in Sweden heard of the pastime creating in Boston and invited the Whiplash to compete in the inaugural World Cup Sept. 16-18. Hogan took at the complicated problem of arranging the travel, which inspired Hayward.

“Dylan organized the flights and other travel logistics for a team of seven people with wheelchairs,” says Hayward, who over time has led greater than 215 bodily treatment scholars on world carrier journeys to Ecuador, China and Mexico. “International commute is ordinarily tough to navigate and lately made extra so through COVID precautions. For the volt hockey workforce, the method was once additional difficult through further elements of touring with tools, wheelchairs used for day-to-day mobility and private baggage.

“Dylan is both impressive and inspirational in his desire and ability to execute this trip to the World Cup while maintaining a full course load this fall,” Hayward provides. “Dylan is an exemplary student and leader and also demonstrates humility in his efforts.”

Hogan and Amanda Bell, a Northeastern senior in knowledge science and behavioral neuroscience who volunteered to help, traveled with the staff through educate and van from Boston to Newark for a nonstop flight to Stockholm—26 hours in all. In Gävle, a small coastal town the place 22 groups from six international locations competed, the lone U.S. access was once welcome with gratitude.

“What struck us was just how supportive everyone was,” Hogan says. “The sport is centralized in Scandinavia—most of the teams are from Norway, Denmark and Sweden—and I think they see our involvement, as well as Canada’s, as potential for huge growth. They know that if it gets to the U.S., it could really blow up.”

Leave a Comment