Neumann University hosted the 2013 U.S. PowerHockey Championships in the Bruder Gymnasium, August 2 through August 4. Lauren Shipman, a Neumann student, is a member of the Philadelphia PowerPlay team and served as event manager for the weekend as part of her internship in the athletic department at Neumann.
The Philadelphia PowerPlay is a power wheelchair hockey team which started when a group of six students played hockey on a cafeteria floor. The founder, Pat Hilferty, realized that there needed to be an outlet for power wheelchair users to compete in a competitive sport. As a result, the Philadelphia PowerPlay was created. What started as a six-player team grew throughout the years; it nows boasts 30 players and continues to grow. Ranging in age and abilities, the players must use a power wheelchair for a majority of their daily lives to qualify for the team.
Since the Philadelphia PowerPlay team is so large, the coaches decided to separate the team into two squads for the tournament: Philadelphia PowerPlay Red and Philadelphia PowerPlay White. After four tournaments, PowerPlay Red found themselves competing in the championship game against last year's champs, the Michigan Mustangs. Philadelphia PowerPlay Red claimed the trophy by a final score of 9-4.
Shipman reflects on the win, "The enthusiasm of the crowd when time ran out was the best experience. As we faced the stands during the playing of We are the Champions, emotions reached an ultimate high. It is an experience that we will never forget, and I’m extremely proud of my team. I’m also grateful to the wonderful coaches and everyone involved in the Philadelphia PowerPlay who believed in us."
Regarding her role as event manager, Shipman stated, "It definitely helped boost my confidence, and I felt like I made Neumann proud. Being an event manager also allowed people to get to know me and enable them to understand that having cerebral palsy does not prevent me from taking on huge responsibilities."
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