by Marie Williams-Gagnon, Transcript & Free Press
Four years ago, Glencoe District High School iced a new hockey course and the school remains one of only two within the Thames Valley District School Board to offer it.
In 2006, GDHS’ former head secretary saw a documentary on such a course, leading certified instructors Willy Flegel and Ryan Wolfe to apply to Hockey Canada in order to allow the school to offer it.
In the three years that it has been offered, over 80 students have taken the course. Offered at both the grade 10 and 11 levels, students may obtain two credits if they decide to take it both years.
The students report to the arena on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings where they are on the ice from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. On days when they are in the classroom, they study the history of the game, off ice training, nutrition and scouting.
Wolfe says that most recently, of course, the results of the Canadian junior hockey team were a major source of discussion.
While the majority of the students are experienced male and female hockey players, Wolfe says that they have had some members of the class who have never played the game. “We’ve had a wide range of skills starting our from those with no experience to some who have played Jr. B.”
They tape the skating skills of players in the first two weeks and last two weeks of the class. Wolfe says that the improvement of the class members is incredible.
Of course, the reciprocal agreement with Southwest Middlesex allows the school to use the ice for the course at no cost.
Wolfe says that while they are trying to produce improved players, the course also helps produce coaches to support minor hockey.