The Peterborough Phantoms Sledge Hockey club was born in 2011 due to a major push by Planet Ice and the British Sledge Hockey Association to breathe new life into the game within the UK.
Ice Sledge Hockey (often referred to as Sledge Hockey) is a variant of ice hockey and can be played on and off ice, using sledges to allow participants to move about the rink at high speeds hitting a puck travelling at speeds of up to 100kph. Players sit in adapted sledges, propelling themselves with sticks adapted to allow propulsion in a manner similar to skiing. As players are strapped to a sledge everybody has the same restrictions, regardless of whether or not the player has a disability.
The sport was invented in Sweden in the 1960’s and in 1981 Britain became the third nation to play the sport. In 1994 Sledge Hockey became a Paralympic sport and Great Britain narrowly lost to Canada in the Bronze medal game in Lillehammer. They also competed in the Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano (1998) and Turin (2006).
Since 2011 new clubs have come and gone – but the league is always moving forward and more players are coming into the sport. The league now boasts a total of 5 clubs that includes, Manchester Phoenix, Cardiff Devils, Kingston Kestrels, Sheffield Steelkings and Peterborough Phantoms. A further 4 teams are expected to join the league before the end of 2017.
In 2011, the Phantoms won their first trophy, the Play Off finals against the established team, Kingston Kestrels.
It took another 2 years for the club to develop and gain more experience and in 2013 they won the inaugural Planet Ice League Championship. They followed this up in 2014 with the League and Play Off double, and in 2015 they successfully retained the League Championship for a third time. This year the club claimed their 4th consecutive League Championship to become the most successful team in the UK in recent years.
The club started with only a small handful of players, and the majority are still with the today, along with an ever expanding squad that is growing every season. The Phantoms are proud to provide a fully inclusive experience for those new or experienced to the game. they have helped to develop players, who have represented Great Britain at World Championships and Paralympic Qualification tournaments. As a club they are always looking for new members, so if you’re interested in giving this great sport a go.
The Phantoms Sledge Hockey club currently includes 6 GB International players, 1 GB Prospect player as well as being coached by Ian Offers who is the Great Britain Head Coach.