Trail Smoke Eaters introduce sensory kits

Home games in the Trail Memorial Centre now more inclusive with loaner sensory kits

“Hockey is for everyone.”

That’s why the Trail Smoke Eaters are making Smokies games more inclusive for all.

In cooperation with the Family Action Network (FAN), Trail Association for Community Living Activity Centre, and Kootenay Family Place, the team announced that there are now four sensory kits available on a loaner basis during home games in the Trail Memorial Centre.

The kits are designed to help enhance the game experience for individuals who may require a more sensory-friendly environment.

Making up the loaner packages are noise-cancelling earmuffs, sunglasses, fidget spinners, a stress ball, and hockey cards. There’s also a social story, a book written by Robert Munsch called Just One Goal! The story is about what transpires at hockey games, such as cheering and lights, so when that happens it will not be as much of a surprise to the sensory-sensitive person.

The kits were made available over the weekend for both Friday and Saturday home games, and will be available at all future Smoke Eaters home games.

Anyone interested in checking out a sensory kit is encouraged to stop into the Smokies Store, which is located inside the Trail arena.

“We live in a diverse society and ensuring accessibility for all community members is something that is important to our community and organization”, commented Corporate Sales and Event Manager, Allison McCarthy.

“We hope these kits create a more positive experience for the fans who are attending our games but might struggle with the overwhelming environmental factors they are forced to navigate on a daily basis.”

After first seeing the launch of sensory kits by the Penticton Vees, the team reached out to the Vees and inquired on the details of bringing this initiative to Trail.

In partnership with FAN, the Smokies purchased the sensory kits that can be loaned out at no charge for children/adults who have sensory challenges.

For more information about this program, contact Allison McCarthy at a.mccarthy@trailsmokeeaters.com.

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