Florida Sled Bandits player Matt Martin shows us the items he always brings to hockey practice.

Saying that Matt Martin is an elite athlete truly falls short of describing all that he has accomplished. Ten years ago, Martin was in a car accident that broke his lower back and left him without the use of his legs. Because he was an active person prior to his accident, Martin found it challenging while being in a wheelchair to maintain the same level of cardio intensity by just going to the gym.

Last March, after being invited to watch a sled hockey game by athletes he met in a restaurant, Martin decided to give the sport a try.  Less than three months after starting, he was selected to go to a USA development camp to train with the USA Paralympic Team. Matt states that, “Being chosen to go to the development camp is one of my biggest accomplishments in the sport. Only 58 people in the U.S. are chosen to go. I was selected to go this year as well, but I wanted my slot to give some younger kids the opportunity to train there.”

Currently, Matt plays for The Florida Bandits, a team comprised of Florida’s best sled hockey players. Last season, the Bandits were undefeated at the National Disabled Hockey Festival in the open “A” division. Matt is thankful to be part of a team has enabled him to meet “friends that have become family.”

“I use these products both before and after I get on the ice. I feel like these products give me the best performance, and they help my muscles from getting too sore after a game.”

“This company makes adaptive equipment for sled hockey. We use two shorter sticks with spikes at the ends that help propel us forward.”

“The kind of sled that I use is kind of like a cut out plastic bucket that I sit in to protect my hips with two rails that I strap into. There are blades that are mounted under the bucket and are the only things that touch the ice. It’s like ice skating but sitting on the skates instead of standing.”

“These gloves are falling apart because I can’t find any other ones that I like. I’ve had them for a good year. They have great flexibility.”