PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- Arizona's first ever special needs hockey team has a new name and new uniforms, and on Friday, the team played its first game in Gila River Arena.
Sliding on the ice, sharing laughs in the locker room and breathing in the cold air, this is more than just having exercise. It's also having a good time with your teammates. The "One Step Bobcats" is now the "One Step Coyotes"! The team is run by One Step Beyond, Inc, a non-profit that helps those with disabilities live their life to the fullest.
The team members playing their first game with their new uniforms, and Coyotes player Jakob Chychrun made a surprise appearance, with a $10,000 check. He talked about why this cause means a lot to him.
"PE course for students that had special special needs, and we were the PE teachers, we would have the gym class and we would be the ones they look up to and just play with them for an hour and play different sports. Run around and socialize with them for a while," said Chychrun.
"That check meant a lot to us. We can get more people on the ice, and helping to pay for other times to keep the team going. ice time, safe gear, skates and sticks," said one player.
"We have so many individuals that have taken that next step, gain the courage to come out and try it. And hockey is an intimidating sport, if you don't know anything about it," said Jared Woosley with One Step Beyond, Inc.
Now, the goal for One Step Coyotes is just to play hockey for as long as they can, and have a great time doing it.