What's better than coming to a country which has your favorite sport as one of their national sports? Coming from another country to Canada involves many difficult situations but when you have hockey as a class, it's much easier to forget the rest of the day.
The SD23 Hockey Canada Skills Academy is an awesome chance to improve your hockey skills and sportsmanship on and off the ice. All the guys and girls in this program were so nice and we had a lot of fun during on-ice practices and off-ice classes. The coaches have a professional hockey background and it's great to learn from them. They were all really nice and wanted you to improve. The whole atmosphere in this program is friendly and so nice that I would recommend this program to everybody in Germany who asks me about it.
Thanks, SD23 Hockey Canada Skills Academy, for teaching me so much, making me a better goalie and for all the funny and nice experiences which I had during this program and which I will take back to my home country!
"As I mentioned, my son has had an awesome experience this year with the Hockey Canada program. Not only has his level of engagement and passion for hockey increased, but he's also been more motivated academically and has made the Principal's list for the first time this year! His focus and determination have been inspired by some of the amazing coaching and fun he's had with you and the team on and off the ice. Thank you for your personal attention and support!" Thanks again for everything.
I am sending you this short note to let you know how great the SD#23 Hockey Canada Skills Academy has been for my grade 8 son. He has really enjoyed the program and it has made it an awesome school year for several reasons.
Being a part of HCSA gave him an immediate connection to other students with similar interests (fellow hockey fanatics). This quickly provided him a solid group of friends which made his transition into high school smooth and easy.
Playing hockey at school also kept him much more interested in all areas of his schooling, I have seen an improvement in his attendance and attitude. In the past he was an average student who did enough work to get by, but this year he has really improved academically. He made the honor roll for the first time ever! The privilege of being in the hockey program motivated him to make a greater effort in all his subjects and as a result he has enjoyed better grades (which helped to boost his self confidence and self-esteem!).
Another benefit of the program is that it provides an opportunity for boys to be exposed to good positive male role models. This is something that is really important for my son because he doesn't have his father actively involved in his life. The coaches and teachers are men that set good examples for behavior and attitude, and because of their common love of hockey the students easily relate to them. I am so thankful to HCSA for fulfilling this area of my son’s young life as I believe having good male role models is enormously beneficial for teenage boys.
Thanks from a happy parent!
This is the best class that school can offer. The great part about it is that you get marks and credits for it.
Its great for everyone from people with great skills to those just starting, I found that it improves everyone’s game.
Personally I've noticed that because of Hockey Academy class my game has improved drastically.
There is a great group of instructors that know what they are talking about, some even with N.H.L
Hockey class also pushes you to get good marks or they won’t let you on the ice, since I've been in hockey class
my average mark has gone up quite a bit.
The class is always fun and the best part is that I get to play hockey during school and actually get marks and credits
for playing hockey.
Thank you, HCSA student
I am writing this letter regarding the impact the SD#23 Hockey Canada Skills Academy had on my life.
I applied to be enrolled into the academy in the spring of grade 9. As soon as I heard about the opportunity to play hockey at school I knew it was something that I had to do. So I sent in my application; a short essay, my hockey resume, and a little bit of information about myself. Shortly after applying I was contacted by the program administrator (Mr. Dan Ruggiero) who suggested we set up a meeting time. The intended path for my high school life was to attend Kelowna Senior Secondary School in downtown Kelowna. That is where everyone in my class was going, and where the bus was going to take me. I figured that the transition to Rutland Senior would be worth it as long as I could play the game that I love. So Mr. Ruggiero came to meet with me personally at my school. We talked for a while about my hockey life and the future plans for the academy. I was then told that I had been accepted into the program, and all that was left to do was transfer schools. I knew that it was going to be tough leaving all of my friends behind to go to another school, but I was sure that it was going to be worth it.
Immediately upon arriving to Rutland Senior I knew that I had made the right decision. Everyone was very friendly and helpful in helping me adjust to the change. My first in-class hockey session was a lot of fun. We did introductions on where we were all playing and our goals for the future. I remember being intrigued by the diversity of students in the class. We had some hockey players who were just starting out, and some who were already very accomplished athletes. The chemistry in the class just seemed to fit perfectly. These people were all just like me, they just wanted to play hockey.
I will never forget my first on-ice class with the academy. We were all told to be ready fifteen minutes early for our scheduled ice time for a pre-ice meeting. All of the coaches introduced themselves and told about their hockey backgrounds and what they would be bringing to the table in terms of their teaching knowledge. I was impressed by each and every instructor who had been chosen to coach us. They were all very accomplished hockey players and brought a lot to the table.
After our meeting we finally got to go on the ice. After a quick warm-up the goalies were sent to work with our goalie coach (Larry Robinson) while the skaters were sent to work with the skating coach (Aaron Konescni). A goalie coach! For the first time in my life I was going to learn how to play my position by a real goalie coach! My first impression of Larry was great. He was very easy-going and a lot of fun to talk to. What a character. He immediately made me feel comfortable being a part of the class. I remember after telling him that my favorite goalie was Jean-Sebastien Giguere, he opted to call me Miss Giggy. He made this name on both my liking of Giguere, and the brand of goalie pads in which I wore. Although Larry loved to have fun, he was also about serious work. After our introductions we immediately learned Larry’s favorite goalie skating drills. I will never forget his famous duck walks and Tretiaks. Although our skating was always very tiring, I will never regret doing it. I feel that nothing has benefited my skills more than our skating sessions.
The students in my class were great. The very skilled players would often help out the younger less skilled players. The atmosphere was very competitive; everyone wanted to be the best that they could be. Nobody wanted to be last in any drill, and I feel that it really pushed everyone to work their hardest to get to that next level of play. Watching the improvement of players throughout the year was really tremendous.
As the year went on I continued to have the time of my life. I was still enrolled in minor hockey, and was able to bring many of the things I was learning at academy into my club team. During the day I was able to practice taking shots from the boys, and at night I was able to go to the rink with all of my girls, I was ultimately getting the best of both worlds. I was getting fast paced high quality hockey with the academy, and still great hockey at night with the girls without losing the team aspect.
I stayed in the hockey academy all the way up until graduation. My skills continued to get increasingly better as the years went on, and I was able to stay in optimal condition for what the future had to hold. With the academy I learned leadership skills, teamwork, hockey skills, and most of all the amount of dedication needed to be a true hockey player.
Being in the hockey program I was not only involved in playing hockey, but also a wide variety of other activities. For three years I was involved in teaching at clinics for small children. In helping to instruct, I was able to get a real sense for coaching, which I plan to do sometime in the future. I was also involved in many hockey related clinics. I was able to attend presentations and seminars on nutrition and exercise. I was able to get a real sense of what it means to be an elite athlete.
Watching the program grow has been an unbelievable experience for me. What started out as a single school in Kelowna has spread to five others in the area. The program is always growing and expanding to new schools and children across Canada. Seeing the academy flourish makes me happy to know that I was part of the founding group at RSS.
Life after the Academy:
I am currently playing NCAA Division 1 Hockey for Sacred Heart University. I will be moving on to bigger and better things for my sophomore year as I transfer to the University of Vermont on a full hockey scholarship. I will be competing at the Division 1 level in the Hockey East league, playing against some powerhouse teams such as Boston College, University of Maine, Providence College, Boston University, and many more.
I attribute my success to my roots in BC, Kelowna Minor Hockey and all of the instructors at the Hockey Canada Skills Academy.