“I’ve been a part of the Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay for 15+ years and it’s genuinely one of the most important and fulfilling things in my life. Besides providing me with a space to have a competitive outlet playing the sport I love, being part of this team has afforded me numerous opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced. 

I’ve grown as a leader and a mentor, have been put in positions to succeed, and given me opportunities to learn from my failures. It’s challenged me to make decisions under pressure and to work with others to solve problems, both in the game and in managerial positions. It has empowered me with the confidence to be an active member of society as a person with a disability which I brought with me through college and into my career by providing me with a platform to exercise independence. I’ve met lifelong friends both locally and internationally which has helped to make me feel like part of a unique community. It’s such a rewarding experience being able to find a group of people that share a life experience of marginalization and a love of hockey. It’s also really rewarding finding ways to make other people’s disabilities work with our sport to find ways to get people involved in the game. 

To anyone with a physical disability who is looking for something to do or be a part of, whether you enjoy hockey or not, I couldn’t recommend this more. Give it a shot. It’s an incredible experience and there is an opportunity for everyone!”


“I am very lucky to be a part of this team. Being involved with a competitive team who has won multiple tournaments to gaining whole support network, my time with the team has been great. I joined the team when I was 10 years old and connected instantly with players who have become my best friends. I have learned many different skills and lessons like teamwork, strategy, practice, and dedication. While they apply to the game, I have been able to apply all of the skills to my personal and professional life as well. One of the biggest positive impacts it has had on my life is the friends I have gained since joining the team. They have become my best friends outside of hockey! I am very grateful for everything the team has done for me.”


When I was searching for a Power wheelchair hockey team 20 years ago, I was looking for an outlet where I could compete on a team competitively.  I found that and much more with the Philadelphia PowerPlay. Not only did my dream come true to play meaningful competitive hockey all over North America but I also found my hockey family!  A family where some great relationships have been developed, especially with a very special teammate who I will be married to in a few months.  The PowerPlay family has provided me with so much and I am very grateful to be a part of it!”


“I have been on the PowerPlay team since its inception in 2003. Over the years, I played all positions, with my primary position being a goaltender. Unlike most of the sports/recreational activities that I participate in, PowerPlay has enabled me to be a part of and play as a team, to produce two goals…a desire to win and a desire to compete. I thrive on competition, so I love when our games are close because it gets my adrenaline pumping. I was very timid when I first started, especially in net. In recent years, however, my confidence has increased and now I can actually compete with the big shooters in our league!


“Being a part of the Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay organization has opened up many doors for me. It has given me an opportunity to compete in a sport and express my competitive nature. Not only has it increased my confidence on the court, but it has significantly impacted it in my everyday life as well. The road to success is a bit different for everyone. However, when you have physical limitations, it can be even trickier. With Powerhockey being an adaptive sport, it has given me the chance to see that adaptations, either big or small, can play a pivotal role in allowing people in similar situations like me to thrive. I’m grateful to be a part of this organization and am looking forward to what the future holds.”


“I’ve played with the Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay since I was nine years old, which means I’ve been playing for over two-thirds of my life. Being a part of this team is so meaningful. On the floor, it’s been a necessary competitive outlet. It’s hard to find places to play intense, competitive sports in a power wheelchair. Off the court, I’ve made lifelong friends who have become family to me. Powerhockey has helped me to become a leader. The skills, teamwork and confidence that I have developed has been so important throughout high school, college, and now as an adult in the workforce. I look forward to seeing everyone at our next game. I owe a lot to this team and organization.”


“Pat Hilferty and I met in 1999 when I attended my first year at MDA Camp, where we would play wheelchair floor hockey in the gym as a required activity. Playing hockey was one of my favorite things to do at camp because it was something I could actually do on my own and I didn’t need anyone’s help to play in my power chair. My muscular dystrophy had started to really progress by that time and I was becoming more and more reliant on others for assistance. Playing hockey gave me a sense of independence and accomplishment. At the time, wheelchair hockey was just fun to play with my friends, and I wasn’t aware Pat had a plan to formally organize. 

Since our first faceoff at camp, Pat encouraged me every year to come to his hockey games. I was busy with college and grad school for several years, but year after year, he persisted. I finally came to my first game in 2013, and was completely blown away by the skill and competitiveness of the players, and was impressed by the level of organization that had become the Philadelphia PowerPlay in just over a decade. I was completely hooked on Powerhockey and was driven to develop competence and play competitively. 

Despite health issues, the untimely passing and grieving of teammates and close friends, and my personal loss of independence, ability, and strength, I have remained an active player and advocate for Powerhockey and disabled sports for over 10 years. I’ve been able to take on new responsibilities and become involved in the organization, to keep Pat’s memory and passion project going for others to enjoy the sport and feel part of the Powerhockey family, just as I do. 

As a player, I really enjoy the challenge of going up against players with more experience and skill, being competitive, learning positioning, executing knowledge of the game, supporting and encouraging my teammates, and mentoring new players, all while having a lot of fun doing so. My desire to hone my skills and improve year after year has never wavered. Being on the court is like nothing else I have ever experienced. It’s an adrenaline rush that gets my heart pumping every time! The lifelong friendships with my teammates and the international players that I have made over my hockey career is something I will always cherish, and I have Pat and his incredible vision, enthusiasm, and persistence to thank for that.”


I love sports and when I was a young kid I thought being disabled would prevent me from being able to play sports. I’ve tried other disabled sports but wasn’t able to play independently. Wheelchair hockey was a godsend because not only can I play a sport and be part of a team, I can play independently! I love this organization! It’s been a great experience for me all around.”


“I really enjoy playing and watching hockey. My teammates are always supportive and provide positive feedback to me to be a better player. I’m a mentor to the newer players and explain to them how the game is played. It is nice meeting other families and players going through the same challenges as I am. This is the only sport that I can play all by myself without any assistance.”


Since joining the Powerplay, I have made friends, am able to have a fun out of the house experience, and also play my favorite sport, “hockey”. Being a player on the PowerPlay has given me confidence, freedom, as well as independence. It also allows me to learn new things. Since joining the team, I have become more confident with talking with others and also less shy and more outgoing. It also is a great atmosphere to be around.”


“I am incredibly fortunate to be a member of the Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay family. This team has been an absolute blessing in my life. It has provided me with a safe haven to truly be myself and connect with others who share the experience of living with a disability. When I wheel into hockey it is the one place I do not feel different or out of place. There is no judgment, only acceptance and camaraderie.

Being part of this team has pushed me to constantly challenge myself and embrace my competitive spirit. Which has allowed me to relate to my nondisabled friends, siblings and now my students! I have learned the importance of teamwork, commitment, and unwavering determination. There is no room for giving up in this sport; every second on the gym floor counts.

Looking back over the past decade, I could have never imagined the profound impact this team would have on my life. My teammates have become more than just friends; they are my chosen family. The bonds we have formed go beyond the game, and I am forever grateful for the love and support they have shown me. Being a part of the Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay family has been nothing short of life-changing. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be a part of this extraordinary team.”


Jealousy is a feeling I had growing up seeing my peers and siblings play sports. I could bowl but that never felt enough skill pushing a ball down a ramp. When I first saw power hockey, I thought, “Me, play hockey? Yeah right!” I didn’t think I could do it. Then, I tried it and quickly fell in love with not only being in a competitive sport, but teaching myself something new. 

My daughter was 4 when I started to play and I became pregnant as a hockey player. Both kids grew up watching me play and cheering me on. I became a role model with sports and didn’t realize it. The last few years I had to put hockey aside for my kids’ own sports. One day, my son asked, “Mom, why don’t you play hockey anymore? I miss it and you’re good!” My daughter chimed in that she agreed. I thought they were bored and just being kind, cheering me on, but they enjoyed it. 

Although they encourage me to return, the schedule is difficult because of being a busy family. I hope to. Hockey gives me the competition that I crave among peers that feel the same about sports. It keeps my reflexes sharp and pushes me to always do better. Give it a try. I might be on break, but I’m a goalie in my heart.”


“The short answer is that Powerhockey has been the best fit I’ve found for my functional abilities, which has allowed me to continue being part of a team for almost two decades so far (and hopefully many more).

A bit of history: I grew up with variable and progressive joint pain, fatigue, and degenerative joint damage. In grade school, I was increasingly caught between worlds – no longer able to keep up with able-bodied peers in local rec-league softball, but not disabled enough to qualify for wheelchair sports or Special Olympics. 

In high school, I started using a powerchair to get around, and a friend invited me to try sled hockey (adapted ice hockey) on my 16th birthday. I loved the freedom of flying across the ice, but I lacked the range of motion necessary to put myself back on my blades if I fell over, and the process of transferring into / out of a hockey sled (<5″ off the ground) to get on the ice only increased in difficulty. I ended up playing sled hockey for about three years. Meanwhile, I tried other adapted sports and qualified for the National Junior Disability Championships in multiple sports (track, field, swimming & table tennis) four years in a row.  All sports come with joys & challenges – the joys of camaraderie & successful competition and the pain of transfers out of my wheelchair into specialized equipment to compete. 

Then, in spring 2004, a coach from Baltimore (against whom I’d played in sled hockey) approached me during a swim meet to ask three questions … [A] do you use a powerchair in daily life? (Yes) [B] are you doing anything the beginning of August? (No) [C] do you want to come to Minneapolis and play in the North American Powerhockey Cup {a major CAN-AM tournament} for me?  (That answer eventually ended up being yes)… So, I ended up going to Baltimore for one practice with the three guys from that program to sorta learn what Powerhockey was. (Powerhockey is sorta like roller hockey in electric wheelchairs. I was happy – combined the hockey knowledge I picked up on the ice with NOT having to transfer out of my chair!) Once we got to Minneapolis, we had one practice with the three guys from Baltimore and the three guys from North Carolina plus one random player from Minnesota before the trial by fire of our first tournament game.  Following the second game, the goalie from North Carolina had medical challenges & couldn’t play the third game.  As a utility player (I’ll play whatever the team needs me to play), I got tapped to fill in between the pipes, and my play was impressive enough to land me the starting goalie role for the remainder of the tournament with that hodgepodge team (and the next tournament two years later in Calgary, AB, Canada, too). 

While I was in Minneapolis, the tournament director asked “You’re from the Philly metro area, right? (Yes) there’s a team starting up in that area – the Philadelphia PowerPlay.”

So that’s how I came to roll onto a court in Drexel Hill in the fall of 2004, and it’s been one heck of a journey since then.

I missed the PowerPlay’s first tournament due to major surgery, but have played on the tournament team since 2011, captaining & backstopping the team to win the US Powerhockey Cup in 2013 and through our first appearance at the North American Cup in Ottawa (2014). I’m hoping to be part of the team that vies to defend our titles as the reigning Champions of both the North American Powerhockey Cup and the Powerhockey Canada Cup. 

TL/DR: I’m thankful that participating in other adapted sports for a relatively short time (less than five years) helped me get connected with our “local” Powerhockey family, and I’ve been an active member of the team ever since (almost 20 years!).”



“The Flyers PowerPlay has provided me with a sense of purpose and is a big part of my life. I have made lifelong friendships that I would not have otherwise. Being around others who also have disabilities and live under similar circumstances helps me feel understood and less alone. I have developed better social skills and confidence in social settings. The Flyers PowerPlay allows me to flourish. It’s a place where I fit in, don’t feel judged, and can be myself. The Flyers PowerPlay has filled an empty void in my life and I look forward to every game.“


Since joining the Powerplay, I have met new friends and stepped out of my comfort zone to learn about a sport I don’t know a lot about. I feel supported being surrounded by friends who I can talk to about whatever is happening in life whether it is something about my wheelchair or learning tips and tricks. I’ve started to feel more comfortable and try to initiate conversations even though the introvert side of me wants to just hang back.”


“Being a part of the PowerPlay family has been one of the big blessings of my life. I not only found a place where I can be competitive and active, I found a family where I can fit in being myself. I can usually forget about my worries and problems when I’m playing on the court with my fellow friends. We go all out and try not to hold back while having fun like one big family. When off the court, we check on each other especially if one of us wants or needs something and care for one another as a team should.”


“Being on the team has benefited me to be able to see my friends and teammates and coaches. Also, when a new teammate arrives, I like to teach the new players more about hockey and how it works. Additionally, win or lose, always have good sportsmanship, no matter what the result is. The results always matter during the tournaments in the summer. That’s when you should definitely care about the results of every game! Being a player made a positive difference in my life. Being part of the organization for a long time, and since the first day playing hockey, I enjoyed every single minute of it! I feel much more outgoing, because of so many players who are in this organization. Since I joined the team, it significantly changed a lot for me, in that, I’m not the only one who has a wheelchair who loves the sport of hockey. I had no idea that this existed, since then, me and the team won back to back cups in 2018 PowerHockey Cup and the 2019 Canadian PowerHockey Cup!”

“This is your time, don’t let your limited disabled body overshadow yourself, prove them wrong, because anything is possible” – Sean Hesser


When I think of hockey, I think of friends. Being part of the Philadelphia PowerPlay family is exciting. It’s a good environment. People say hi to me and they ask how I’m doing. They say “good game” at the end. My teammates are supportive and they teach me the rules. I blocked a shot at hockey and it made me feel happy and excited. I was really proud and people cheered for me, like Mommy and Daddy and my teammates. I feel like I do a good job at hockey, and it makes me feel like I can do great things. I never used to play hockey before, but I’m playing hockey now. Before, I used to go and watch my friend’s soccer games and swim meets. I never played a sport. But now, I play a sport, hockey. And my friend came and watched my hockey game. Since joining the team in September 2023, I made new friends, and I hang out and talk with them at my hockey games.”




I believe my son’s participation with the powerplay team has been priceless. It’s one of the very few competitive sports he could partake in. He not only found a group to feed his love for sports but also a network of lifelong friends with similar issues to him with whom he can talk candidly. 

Alex has a twin brother who was also very active with competitive sports. Having Alex have his own team to play on and be an integral part of, allowed each of my sons to have their own “thing”. This allowed Alex to fully participate and not just tag along to all his brothers games being just a spectator.

This team has not only been a recreational outlet it has been a valued source of support, love and information. As a parent, being able to talk with other parents for support is also priceless. I have learned so much talking to other parents about resources, equipment, doctors, travel, etc…let alone the emotional support received from other parents. Alex and I are very grateful for all of these aspects this team offers.”



“This is Nate’s first season playing hockey, but it has been such a positive experience and already means so much to our family.

Nate never used to get to play sports or be on a team. Most of his peers had sports on weekends, but not him. He was sort of missing out on this rite of passage of childhood. Now Nate gets to play a sport and have games on the weekend, just like everybody else. He can talk about it with his friends and classmates at school. It helps to give him something else in common with the other kids. As parents, we just love having one more thing we can celebrate Nate for and cheer him on from the sidelines.

Nate is new to learning hockey- but watching him learn the rules and develop the skills of how to play is extremely rewarding as his parents. He’s practicing and learning and getting better. And of course, he’s having fun playing!

Nate is fully included at school, which is wonderful, but it also means that he doesn’t know that many other disabled people. At hockey, Nate has gotten the opportunity to meet this whole group of fellow power wheelchair-users. Now he has all these new friends and positive role models that share some of his unique life experiences. Nate has loved all the socializing at games- maybe even more than actually even playing hockey!

We have found The Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay family to be such a welcoming and supportive one. The players and families have been so inviting to our new family, and we look forward to coming to games. The other players have embraced Nate, even though he’s young and learning. They make it a point to mentor him, teach him the rules, guide him on what to do, and encourage him. The players- even on the opposing team- cheer for each other when someone makes a great play during a scrimmage. They rally around and pick each other up when someone feels down. It is such a welcoming, supportive, positive experience, full of camaraderie.”



“My son Luke has been a part of PPP since 2005 or so.  He began using a wheelchair when he was five and always loved hockey – playing for hours in front of our house with his brother on rollerblades. Finding the PPP team has been a gift.  He was about nine when we went to watch for the first time, and Pat told him all about the team but said he had to be at least 10 to officially play for safety and skills reasons. They kindly invited him to zip around a bit and play for fun with the “big kids” before the game started and after a few minutes of observing him, Pat came over and told him “Okay, you can play.” Luke was thrilled, we were thrilled, and he has been playing ever since.

The PPP has helped Luke in countless ways – to grow, mature, and shape him into the pretty awesome person he is today. It has given him an opportunity to be competitive and part of a real team. He has grown up with this community of people who “get it” and has made lifelong friends.  As a disabled athlete with a progressive disease, Luke’s game has changed a lot over the past 19 years. He was once a fast forward and a high scorer but as time has gone by, he moved to defense and strategy (and talking trash) as his main contributions.  He even wrote his college admission essay describing this evolution and now what it is like for him to try and help the newer, younger players when they join. 

The opportunity for tournament travel and becoming part of the larger Powerhockey community in North America has also been amazing. It has brought us to new places where we have played competitive hockey, got our butts kicked and also won a few cups, and made even more wonderful friends. The depth of my gratitude for PPP is hard to articulate. This team has been a huge part of the beautiful and complex fabric of our lives for almost 20 years and hopefully will continue to be for many, many more.”



“My son has been a member of the Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay since he got his first power wheelchair at age 9. He has literally grown up with this team. The players and their families became our extended family. For Liam, he has learned all the things you want a child to learn from being on a sports team: competition, the importance of communication, building self-esteem, the need for planning, etc. With Pat Hilferty’s passing, Liam took on more responsibility as captain and spokesperson for the team. He’s improved his public speaking skills, communicated with the board, families and players, and overall grew into a responsible adult. 

As a parent, besides being able to support my son’s passion for the sport he loves, the games and tournaments are where I learn everything about disability by talking with other parents/caregivers and players. I’ve learned about equipment, doctors, medical tests, transportation, social security and other benefits; the list goes on. Everyone knows something that is helpful to another family, it’s amazing. I can’t even imagine not having been part of this team for the past 16 years. We are grateful to be a part of the Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay and so proud that the Philadelphia Flyers NHL team has taken us in. The team proudly wears the Flyers logo and team colors!”



My son is quadriplegic, injured in the war in Iraq when he was 8 years old. Before his injury, he loved playing soccer and he was a fast runner. Since his injury, he started missing his sport activities.

Luckily, we found about the Philadelphia power play in 2010 when he joined the team. Playing powerhockey and joining the team changed his mood a lot and created a different environment in his life. Hisham always says, “the PowerPlay are my second family“. It is a family gathering, a place to share ideas, help each other, and support each other. He can’t wait for the next game, and he tries not to miss any games.

Finding real, honest, sincere people and just watching the players is inspiring to anyone, despite their medical condition, the players are smiling, eager to finish their education, getting decent jobs…it’s unbelievable. For that reason, I have brought many of my friends to the games to show them how magnificent this team is, and I shared my experience with my company. We donated twice to the team members when they won the tournaments. In fact, I can’t write down all my feelings about this team , the founders of the team and all their members.”



“We cannot express enough gratitude for the experience that the Philadelphia Powerplay Hockey program has provided for our family, particularly our daughter Lauren. As parents of a power wheelchair athlete, finding inclusive and competitive opportunities can be a challenge. However, the Philadelphia Powerplay has not only met but exceeded our expectations, creating an environment that goes beyond the game itself.  It’s not just a sports team; it’s a tight-knit family that fosters support, camaraderie, and understanding. The sense of belonging has been a game-changer for us but especially for Lauren who has not only found teammates but lifelong friends who share a common passion for the sports.”



Our son, Jayce, is an avid sports fan and always wanted to play sports and be part of a team in spite of having cerebral palsy and major physical limitations. Wheelchair hockey has made it possible for him to be able to play a sport independently. He loves being part of the Philadelphia Flyers PowerPlay! We’ve been part of this wonderful organization since 2013, and we love the friendships and connections we’ve made within this hockey family! We LOVE this organization and are so grateful to those who started it and everyone who keeps it going!”