Thursday, October 8, 2015

She shoots, Cam saves!

By Louise Kinross
Cam Jenkins is Holland Bloorview’s family support fund and accommodations administrator. But in his spare time, he’s a goalie with the Silver Streaks—a co-ed sledge-hockey team that’s part of Cruisers Sports for the Physically Disabled, which operates in Peel and Halton.

BLOOM: What is sledge hockey?

Cam Jenkins: You sit on a sled with two skate blades underneath your torso and a rudder at the front. You have two mini hockey-sticks with picks at the end of the stick, so you can propel yourself on the ice. We’re taught to shoot with our left hand and right hand.

BLOOM: When did you begin playing and what is your disability?

Cam Jenkins: I began at 16 years old and I have spina bifida.

BLOOM: How often do you play?

Cam Jenkins: Right now we have three practices a week, of about one-and-a-half to two hours each. Then as the season gets going we’ll have one practice and one game each week.

BLOOM: What position do you play?

Cam Jenkins: When I first started I played forward and defense. Then I went to a tournament in Ottawa and because I was one of the most mobile in my sledge, they stuck me in goal. I've been playing sledge hockey now for 15 years with a small sabbatical while I went away to college and also lived in Whistler, B.C. 

BLOOM: Why do you play?

Cam Jenkins: I like being able to play Canada’s favourite pastime and be part of a team and work as a team to reach a goal. I went to a high school that didn’t have a lot of people with challenges, so at that time it was definitely a way to meet people in my community who had the same challenges as myself.

BLOOM: What does it cost?

Cam Jenkins: It costs $450 a year to become a member, and that includes ice time.

BLOOM: What do you like the most about playing?

Cam Jenkins: I love being a goalie became I’m the last line of defense. I’m either the hero or the goat. If I let in a bad goal I look bad upon myself. But if I make a beautiful glove save and everyone’s cheering my name and congratulating me, there’s nothing like keeping your team in a game.

My favourite part is just being around my teammates and helping them out because I believe that every player can be a part of the team, no matter what their role. I always encourage people to do what they’re good at. That could be blocking shots or being a goal scorer. If you’re not a fast skater maybe your role is to stay in front of the net while the other defenseman runs around and tries to get the puck.

BLOOM: Do you have to be good at sledge hockey to play?

Cam Jenkins: We want everyone to be able to come out and participate, whether they’re doing it at a competitive level or doing it at a social, fun level. We have different kinds of teams based on what you want to get out of it.

BLOOM: What age are the participants?

Cam Jenkins: Our youngest is six and there’s no upper limit. There are 12 to 13 players on each team and each team has a coach, assistant coach and trainer.

BLOOM: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Cam Jenkins: The Cruisers are all about making sure everyone is included and feels a part of the team. I want to get across the point that everyone has a part on the team.


Cameron, great article and your love of the game comes shining through! Hopefully it will spark interest in some others so they start playing too.

Sounds like a great team that you play for, Cam!