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Special needs hockey program receives support from the City of Penticton

The Penticton Upper Dek Vees have almost 50 players
One of the teams that plays for the Penticton Upper Dek Vees. (Submitted)

The Penticton Upper Dek Vees, a special needs hockey program, will be able to continue to offer programs in the South Okanagan Valley thanks to support from the City of Penticton and DekSmart Ltd., as well as numerous other corporate sponsors.

“We have participants that spent months just walking on their skates around the edges of the arena and now they can skate,” said head coach Jeremy Sirakov. “You get to see that passion because every time they carry the puck in and score, it’s almost like it’s their first time. You have to love the program because you get to see that happen.”

READ MORE: Vees cruise to seventh straight win

The hockey program officially came together in 2008 by a group of volunteer coaches to offer the special needs community in Penticton an opportunity to play hockey for all ages. The Upper Dek Vees now have a junior program and a senior program comprising of almost 50 players.

“We are excited to be involved with the Penticton Upper Dek Vees and support its initiatives of providing a safe, fun and supportive environment for its participants,” said Lisa O’Daly, the city’s recreation coordinator. “We are delighted to continue supporting this program for our community.”

Residents can see this hockey group in action at an upcoming fundraiser game against the city’s local RCMP.

The “No Love Lost” game will be held on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Okanagan Hockey School rink. Admission is by donation and all funds collected will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association and special needs hockey.

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