The Canadian Electric Wheelchair Hockey Association is an incorporated charitable organization established in 1980. The CEWHA represents about 200 players and over 80 volunteers including divisions in Toronto, London (Ont.) and affiliate divisions in Calgary, Winnipeg, and Ottawa
Unique Make-up and Demographics
Unlike most other sports organizations, the CEWHA has some unique characteristics. For example, we have men and women as well as boys and girls, who play and compete on the same team. We serve many different disabilities, although the majority of our players have either Cerebral Palsy or Muscular Dystrophy.
Vision and Goal
To serve the social and recreational needs of Canada’s disabled population, by establishing a division of our hockey league in every major city in Canada. To have a “select” team from each division come together, every other year, to play a tournament for the National Championship.
Sponsorship and Funding
Today each division of the league is currently responsible for their own financial survival.
A good deal of the annual fund raising efforts come from specially designed fund raising activities and events run by staff and volunteers. Many of these events are specifically designed to get the players more involved and active in fund raising efforts.
Future Funding Requirements
There is so much more we could be doing given the proper funding. Today all money raised is used to fund operations, equipment, wheelchairs, sticks, team jerseys, transportation, etc. The league also pays for social activities including our Annual Awards Banquet, tournaments and occasional Pizza Nights.
As we continue to expand it becomes increasingly difficult to run the organization without an adequate budget for developing other cities, including marketing and publicity.
Benefits of the Program
Electric wheelchair hockey is fun! Probably the most important attribute of our league, however, is its “enabling” quality. Even the most severely disabled person can compete and contribute, in a positive and recognized way, to the success of their team. For many, they can experience for the first time the feeling of being a valuable and contributing member of a team. Many parents have expressed gratitude, and shared with us, the important role that our hockey program has played in their lives. In many cases they have indicated a marked improvement in their child’s self esteem, enthusiasm, and feeling of self worth.
The CEWHA is more than just a hockey league. By design, our volunteers and staff go out of their way to compliment the hockey experience with quality social events and outings. Things like our Pizza Nights after Friday night games help to embody the true Canadian hockey experience. Most able-bodied people, who play hockey today, enjoy the socializing after the games almost as much as the game itself!
Today, most people hear about us from contact with our players or volunteers. Word-of-mouth marketing! We have recently been focusing our efforts on promoting our organization and have been successful in terms of new player recruitment as well as fundraising. However, the fact is that there are many people across Canada, both potential players and potential volunteers who could significantly benefit from getting involved with the CEWHA but haven’t heard about us. Our long term goal is to reach those people and expand the organization to maximize the benefit to Canadians.
In order to realize our goals, and reach out to the thousands of people with disabilities, who could benefit from our program, we need to enhance our efforts in marketing and publicizing the league.