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One Step Coyotes

Adults with Intellectual Disabilities Get the Chance to Play Hockey in Peoria

As we kick off a new year, Peoria residents may be seeking ways to support different groups in the Valley. One group that could use your support in the new year is One Step Coyotes, an adaptive hockey team that is part of One Step Behind (, a non-profit organization providing innovative programs for adults with intellectual disabilities.  

What is One Step Beyond?

According to Jared Woosley, Director of Special Programs with One Step Beyond, services like these are much needed in the Valley. “One Step Beyond focuses on independent living and life skills, as well as the arts and recreation like One Step Coyotes.”

Currently, One Step Beyond has four campuses in the Valley, one more on the way, and one location in the Bay Area. As an added benefit, the program provides transportation for members to and from the program every weekday.

One Step Coyotes

One Step Coyotes is one of the programs run by One Step Beyond, and it is the first adult special ice hockey program in Arizona. “It’s an opportunity that was created because it hadn’t existed in Arizona prior," explains Woosley. "We started the team back in 2016, and we’ve been going strong since. The seasons run from the beginning of November to the end of February.”

Volunteering to Help Others

If Peoria residents are looking for volunteer opportunities in 2024, this is a great one to get involved with. Woosley and his team say they are always looking for people interested in volunteering their time or can provide equipment or sponsor an upcoming adaptive hockey event.

Woosley knows not everyone can volunteer their time. “With volunteering, the challenge is that we practice at noon every Tuesday and Thursday, so most people interested in volunteering can’t make the daytime hours work," he explains. "But due to the cost of ice time being less expensive during the weekdays, that is when we must practice.”

If you cannot volunteer your time but are interested in supporting financially, Woosley says that is always an option. “We are constantly trying to raise money for our ice time and much-needed gear. Both are very expensive, but we have made it work so far.”

For Woosley, it isn’t just about supporting the adults who need and use the program, working with One Step Beyond has become very personal. “It has changed my life. I never thought it was going to grow so much or end up taking up so much of my time. I’m very happy with that, though, because when I witness one of my friends take to the ice for the first time, not ever thinking it could be something they could do, the joy overwhelms everyone.”

Woosley knows that sports like hockey can be difficult and even scary, but his goal is to help players overcome that fear. “I watch fear disappear when they step onto the ice and join their friends. It is an experience I know will be great for them, and even more, great practice for them next time they are faced with something in life they might hold back on doing due to being afraid.”

One Step Beyond is a private, non-profit organization providing programming and services for adults with intellectual disabilities. The program empowers members to live independently, be self-sufficient, and find employment through innovative culinary, education, fitness, and arts programs. The 2023/2024 Hockey Season is every Tuesday and Thursday through February at Ice Peoria, 15829 N 83rd Ave. in Peoria.

Upcoming Hockey Season

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