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Founded in 1973 by National Hockey League Hall of Fame member Stan Mikita and Chicago businessman Irv Tiahnybik, the Stan Mikita Hockey School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing-AHIHA is hosting its 46th annual weeklong hockey school for deaf and hard of hearing athletes June 8-15, at the Edge Ice Arena, 735 E. Jefferson St., Bensenville.
The Stan Mikita Hockey School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing-AHIHA is one of the most unique training and development camps for young athletes in the United States. With current and former professional hockey players serving as coaches, the hockey school uses on-ice interpreters to convey instructions and advice to players via sign language.
Players wear letters on their helmets to alert interpreters whether they are conversant in lip reading ("L") or sign language ("S"). Approximately 60 young athletes from across the country are enrolled in this year's hockey school and will skate on one of four skill-level based hockey teams - Varsity, Junior Varsity, Freshmen or Girls. The school does not charge fees for athletes to attend its hockey school, all expenses incurred by the team or players (ice, time, lodging, equipment, etc.) are paid by the organization.
In addition to rigorous daily on-ice training and practice sessions, AHIHA teams play evening games against Chicago area hockey teams and clubs. The organization also is planning to send a team in December for the 2019 World Winter Deaflympics in Chiavenna, Italy.
"We've achieved a lot in 46 years," said Kevin Delaney, AHIHA president and also a skating and skills coach for the past eight years with the Chicago Blackhawks. "Nearly 3,000 deaf and hard of hearing athletes have been coached and trained at our school, our teams have won gold, silver and bronze medals at major international winter sports competitions and the vast majority of our athletes have used our school as a springboard to successful high school, college and junior hockey careers."
The Stan Mikita Hockey School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing-AHIHA is one of the leading sports organizations in the United States serving deaf and hard of hearing athletes. The school's mission is to instill confidence and self esteem in deaf and hard of hearing individuals, primarily through AHIHA-sponsored clinics, camps and related hockey activities.
Highlights of 2018's School:
See also: Stan Mikita's Legacy - Including The Donuts.
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