TAIT: Ben Stelter’s experience an example of the potential for inclusion in sports

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The Ben Stelter experience could be just beginning, and has the potential of being — everyone say it with me, loud and clear — inclusive on levels we have never considered previously.

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Just look at the images.

Ben, the  five-year-old living with brain cancer, skated with Connor McDavid to centre ice.

He gave fist pumps to the team — every one of them — before they glided on to the ice against the Los Angeles Kings.

Ben is, absolutely, part of the team.

Not a mascot.

Not a good-luck charm — although his record is solidly stellar.

Not the kid who shows up, often sadly uninvited, into a victorious dressing room.

None of those.

But, most certainly a teammate: someone who may not have the skills — passing, shooting, hitting, skating — in this case, hockey.

Someone who, because of their individualism and extraordinary philosophy, achieve the highest level they can.

Five-year-old Scotiabank Skater Ben Stelter stands with the Edmonton Oilers and the San Jose Sharks during the national anthems at a NHL game at Rogers Place in Edmonton, on Thursday, March 24, 2022. Ben is currently battling glioblastoma. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

So … what do you think, hockey Edmonton?

What do you think of somehow —- only too happy to help here — coming up with a program to integrate you disabled Edmontonians with minor hockey teams as part of the team.

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