(WBIR) Football is king in Tennessee, but one group is pushing for more people to take notice of hockey.
For the first time in nearly 12 years, adaptive or sled hockey is dropping the puck in Knoxville.
Thanks to USA Hockey and the Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association, people were able to get on the ice and learn to play, all free of charge.
At Cool Sports in Farragut, sled hockey allows people in wheelchairs the chance to get on the ice and play. One father Friday night was skating with his son for the first time.
"I've watched him play hockey for five years and always had to look from out there I didn't even know what the middle of this ice looked like."
Once they're strapped in, children and adults are helped onto the ice and learn to skate.
"Their faces are just lit up. For a lot of them it's their first time being on the ice. It's just an incredible experience for these kids," said Rob Link with the Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association.
Volunteers help out by pushing skaters and chasing down pucks.
"Just giving back it feels good to give back," said one.
Kyle Mules was diagnosed with Guillian Barre at the age of 10.
"Everything started to turn against itself and my legs gave out, and 12 hours after that I became paralyzed from my toes to my eyes. I couldn't even breathe on my own," said Mules.
Since then he's gotten stronger and uses sports to help in his rehabilitation.
"I never really got into these sports when I was walking, so why not try them while I'm sitting," said Mules.
The sport's not exactly easy but it provides people of all abilities a chance to skate and live fuller lives.
For Kyle's mom, Friday night meant they could mark ice hockey off their list of activities to try.
"We try to focus on all the stuff we can do and not the stuff we can't, so it's awesome," explained Kelly Mules.
Friday night's event was planned in hopes of drumming up support and interest in a sled hockey team.
If you're interested in playing or volunteering contact the Knoxville Amatuer Hockey Association at 865-218-4500 or www.kaha.org