A new adaptive option for sports in Buffalo makes a big splash on the final weekend of August.
On Friday and Saturday, August 25-26, The Buffalo Bandits will host the 2017 Wheelchair Lacrosse USA National Championship at Buffalo Riverworks. This is a new sport that welcomes opportunities for both able-bodied and physically-challenged athletes to play together.
Norm Page, who acts as Regional Sled Hockey Director in Buffalo, said the interest in Western New York has been steadily building; his son Adam Page-- who won a gold medal with USA’s ice sledge hockey team in the 2010 Paralympic Games—first saw the game played in Milwaukee.
The second time he visited Milwaukee, it was with a team in Bandits jerseys, at the Midwest Regional Championships.
“We were the best looking,” Page joked, as the team didn’t leave Milwaukee with the best results. “A lot of the athletes from this area played sled hockey for many years. The transfer is a big adjustment.”
It was the first time the Bandits’ wheelchair lacrosse team played at all; this weekend marks their first time playing at home. And this time, Milwaukee will be visiting Buffalo, instead of the other way around.
Teams are also joining from San Diego, Colorado, Baltimore, Richmond, and Indianapolis; the 7-team tournament goes from 8:00am-6:00pm on Friday, and continues through Saturday between 9:00am-1:00pm.
Three playoff games will stretch from 1:00-4:00pm on Saturday, to crown 2017’s national champion.
And best of all, attendance is free throughout the entire tournament.
To learn more about how the Buffalo Bandits brought this game to Western New York, you can can check out their website here.