Hockey Dealers Association Partners With American Special Hockey Association
The Hockey Dealers Association (HDA), a division of the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), has entered into a partnership with the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) to establish opportunities for both organizations to build connections and grow the industry.
ASHA has been going through an overhaul of its association under the leadership of executive director Jen O’Brien by creating a new strategic plan to increase its reach and impact on children and adults. In four years, ASHA has grown from 55 programs to more than 100 established Special Hockey Clubs throughout the United States. ASHA has also grown its presence in Canada and supporting Special Hockey Clubs and remote communities. With more than 5000 registered participants from all ages and abilities starting at the age of five, ASHA continues to grow its reach and help bring hockey to the special needs community.
“The hope is to reach the community at large that special hockey is growing,” O’Brien says. “We could not do this without the help of the sporting goods industry. Our partnership with NSGA/HDA is focused on building relationships which grow opportunities for both the special hockey programs and the sporting goods industry. The help from the industry with donations of much-needed gear has been great for the growth of our special hockey programs. Westside Skate and Stick, located in New York and a member of HDA, has been one of our most generous retailers to help with our special hockey programs in New York City.”
O’Brien adds that one of the primary goals is for ASHA members to more easily find options for equipment purchases, while also gaining exposure and support of its mission of increasing the accessibility of hockey to everyone.
“Partnering with ASHA will be an excellent opportunity for both associations to grow the love of this great game,” says Matt Carlson, NSGA President and CEO. “ASHA is doing a great job of opening up this great sport to so many people. Learning about their work with special hockey clubs across the United States and Canada, we like the potential to connect HDA members and NSGA members who sell hockey with ASHA.”