Hockey Day Minnesota 2022
Hockey is a powerful therapeutic tool, offering a unique blend of physical activity, camaraderie, and structured competition that can profoundly affect mental and emotional well-being. As a therapeutic outlet, hockey enables individuals to channel their energy and focus into the game, providing a welcome escape from the stresses of daily life. The physical demands of the sport not only contribute to improved physical health and release endorphins, promoting a sense of achievement and happiness. Moreover, the team aspect of hockey fosters a supportive community where individuals can lean on one another for encouragement, understanding, and a shared sense of purpose.
For veterans and others facing mental health challenges, hockey can be a vital means of rebuilding self-esteem, rekindling a sense of identity, and finding solace and strength in teammates' company. Ultimately, hockey's therapeutic benefits extend far beyond the rink, helping individuals reconnect with themselves their communities, and a healthier, more fulfilling life.
"From the instant our players step into the arena, they become integral members of the Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey team. For veterans in transition, losing a vital support network can be challenging. However, when they step onto the ice, it's a chance to escape the stresses of daily life and rediscover the camaraderie of being part of a team.
The testimonials from our members attest to a unique sense of togetherness that transcends civilian life. At the heart of the Minnesota Warriors organization lies a commitment to assisting all veterans within our local community. This bond is nurtured on and off the ice, creating lasting connections."
"The Minnesota Warriors Ice Hockey Program operates with a core mission rooted in charity and education. We support United States Military personnel, including wounded, injured, or disabled veterans. As the sole USA Hockey Disabled Warrior program in Minnesota, our primary goal is to facilitate the reintegration of our veterans into civilian life."
It’s not about the hockey for Curt Wilson.
For Wilson, a decorated military veteran, who oversaw exponential growth of the Minnesota Warriors, it’s about the brotherhood, the camaraderie and just being around the guys that keeps him going.
Wilson has been recognized with this year’s USA Hockey Disabled Athlete of the Year Award. The award annually recognizes the outstanding perseverance and dedication by a disabled hockey player through demonstrating the ability to overcome obstacles in the pursuit of excellence both on and off the ice.
“Having this type of a program allows the locker room to become family,” Wilson said. “On a personal level, if I never played hockey again, I wouldn’t miss it, but I would miss that locker room. I’m always going to continue to be involved, whether it’s on or off the ice. For me, what’s important to me is just simply continuing to reach out and to try and help as many disabled veterans as I can.”
Reprinted with permission