Hockey Canada and Hockey PEI recently approved two additional Skills Academies beginning in the 2018-19 season. The two new schools are Stonepark Junior High School and Kensington Intermediate Senior High School.
Following the 1999 Molson Open Ice Summit, 11 recommendations were identified for the future of Canadian hockey. One recommendation was to promote cooperative efforts between school boards, local hockey associations and sponsors, to better utilize ice times and school facilities and move towards the development of Hockey Canada Skills Academies.
In order to get the most out of arenas during weekday hours – when most minor hockey players are in school – Hockey Canada believes that a Skills Academy program for hockey was a beneficial program to grow and develop the game. With that in mind, the Hockey Canada Skills Academy program, is a partnership between Hockey Canada and its 13 member branches.
Hockey Canada Skills Academies are designed to challenge and inspire all students who participate. It is a complete program that includes education, on-ice skills, off-ice strength and conditioning, mental training, and personal and team development. On-ice sessions include hockey fundamentals such as skating, puck handling, passing and tactics.
When students are not on ice they are exposed to sport specific fitness training, floorball, stick handling and shooting. This is a great program for those students wanting to enhance their current skill set and also provides an opportunity to introduce the game to students new to hockey who want to play for the first time. Each Skills Academies set their own registration guidelines, but programs are open to both male and female students and for players of all levels.
There are various benefits of a HCSA program, for both minor hockey and the host schools some of which include:
- Increase in training time by maximizing arena availability during school hours; players may receive more than 400 hours of extra training time per year
- Enhancement of individual technical and tactical skill development
- Enhancement of academic achievement through the motivation of establishing a balance of both academics and athletics within the school system
- Would assist in equalizing the development opportunity for:
- players born late in the year
- late bloomers
- late starters
- late maturity
- male and female player development
“With the success of Skills Academies with other schools on PEI, and over 120 registered hockey players at Stonepark from local minor hockey associations and others who love the sport but don’t play organized hockey, we are excited to provide players of all skill levels a chance learn more about the game, improve their skills, and connect that with school and academics, “ stated Mike Smith – Stonepark Junior High School.
“Kensington Intermediate High School (KISH) is thrilled to be able to offer the Hockey Canada Skills Academy for Pee Wee and Bantam age players from KISH and students at Queen Elizabeth Elementary. This program with experienced instructors will help develop hockey skills both on and off the ice for our youth,” stated Donald Mulligan – Kensington Intermediate High School.
Hockey PEI currently has four Hockey Canada Skills Academies. Joining Stonepark and Kensington Intermediate schools are:
- Birchwood Junior High School
- East Wiltshire Junior High School
- École Évangéline
- Queen Charlotte Junior High School
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Ph: (902) 368-4334