FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marty Maciaszek, Director of Communications
(847) 296-NSGA (6742), ext. 1260
DOWNERS GROVE, ILLNOIS (April 26, 2021) – The Hockey Dealers Association (HDA), a division of the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), is pleased to announce a partnership with the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) to establish opportunities for both organizations to build connections and grow the industry.
ASHA has been going through an overhaul of its association under the leadership of Executive Director Jen O’Brien by creating a new strategic plan to increase its reach and impact on children and adults. In four years, ASHA has grown from 55 programs to more than 100 established Special Hockey Clubs throughout the United States. ASHA has also grown its presence in Canada and supporting Special Hockey Clubs and remote communities. With more than 5,000 registered participants from all ages and abilities starting at the age of 5, ASHA continues to grow its reach and help bring hockey to the special needs community.
“The hope is to reach the community at large and grow access to the special hockey,” O’Brien said. “We could not do this without the help of the sporting goods industry. Our partnership with NSGA/HDA is focused on building relationships which grow opportunities for both the special hockey programs and the sporting goods industry. The help from the industry with donations of much-needed gear has been great for the growth of our special hockey programs. Westside Skate and Stick, located in New York and a member of HDA, has been one of our most generous retailers to help with our special hockey programs in New York City.”
O’Brien stated one of the primary goals is for ASHA members to more easily find options for equipment purchases, while also gaining exposure and support of its mission of increasing the accessibility of hockey to everyone.
“Partnering with ASHA will be an excellent opportunity for both associations to grow the love of this great game,” said Matt Carlson, NSGA President and CEO. “ASHA is doing a great job of opening up this great sport to so many people. Learning about their work with special hockey clubs across the United States and Canada, we like the potential to connect HDA members and NSGA members who sell hockey with ASHA.”
About the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA)
The American Special Hockey Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities through the sport of hockey. ASHA provides an environment of learning, mutual respect and a sense of community to thousands of players and families across the United States of America.
ASHA has strengthened their partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the American Hockey League (AHL). ASHA is actively advocating with the NHL for a more diverse and inclusive hockey community. ASHA has been a major beneficiary of the #BauerGivesBack Program. Bauer, a manufacturer member of HDA, has made significant yearly donations of gear for special hockey clubs and other marginalized hockey organizations which ASHA supports. Find out more information about ASHA at its website www.specialhockey.org.
About the Hockey Dealers Association (HDA)
HDA, a division of National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), is committed to serving the needs of hockey dealers. It was formed in July 2010 to create a community for hockey retailers to share industry experiences. HDA is a collective voice regarding issues including, but not limited to, internet sales, manufacturer relations, government, safety and bringing in new participants while keeping the hockey retailing industry healthy. Find out more information about HDA at its website www.nsga.org/membership/hockey-dealers-association-hda.