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YOUTH SPORTS -- Podein visits area floor hockey camp

About 20 youths participated during the last two weeks in a summer adapted floor hockey camp sponsored by the Shjon Podein Foundation. The camp at Friedell Middle School runs through Thursday and includes children from about 8 to 18.

Mark Morrey, former head coach of the Rochester-based Raiders floor hockey team, has been directing the camp.

On Tuesday, professional hockey player Shjon Podein worked out for two hours with the youths, who aren't able to play ice hockey because of physical limitations. Among those on the floor was Raiders player Corey Schlenker.

"It was a blast," Schlenker said. "He tells us stuff that we need to improve on. He inspires us to do better."

Podein spoke briefly about the challenge of living with a disability, but he usually just said in essence, "Let's go to it," Schlenker said. "He was ready to play with us. He really wanted to get into it."

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Schlenker said he watches all the St. Louis Blues games when they're on TV.

Podein currently plays for the Blues after being traded by Colorado after the team won the Stanley Cup.

Vanessa Timm, who played goalie for the Raiders last season and recently graduated from Rochester Mayo, said Podein is a great motivator.

"I know the other kids enjoy him," she said. "When they see the puck and defend against him and stop him, they feel good about it.

"He's a nice guy, a great sport. He interacts with the kids great, they all love him."

-- Ken Hanson

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