By Brian New

FARMERS BRANCH (CBSDFW.COM) – An opportunity for many local disabled athletes to play hockey has been stolen. The DFW Sled Hockey team had close to $5,000 worth of equipment stolen from a storage unit. The team’s unit was one of several broken into at a storage facility in Farmers Branch.

The team’s captain, Taylor Lipsett, called it disheartening.

The stolen equipment was used by the team to invite people who have never played sled hockey to give the sport a try. Lipsett said that the team was planning on inviting disabled children, rehab centers and wounded warriors to join them this season. Those plans, for now, have been put on ice. “We are going to have to put that side of the program on hold for a while,” Lipsett explained, “until we are able to purchase everything again.”

For the team captain, being an ambassador for the sport is personal. When diagnosed with brittle bone disease, Lipsett was told by doctors that he could never play sports. Twelve years ago, a friend loaned him a helmet, a sled and a stick, and told him to try sled hockey. Just two years later, Lipsett qualified for the USA National team.

In 2010, Lipsett scored a goal in the gold medal game in the Paralympic Games as the USA defeated Japan.

Lipsett said, “Not every player that comes and tries out is going to be a paralympian, but it can still change their lives.”

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