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Monday September 8th, 2014

Posted at 6:53pm

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The new look of the Ice Park. Screen shot from centralparkathletics.com

More than 90 students from Corpus Christi Catholic Middle School and F. J. Brennan Catholic High School took to the ice Monday for the first time at the newly renovated Central Park Athletics facility, as part of an innovative new program that combines athletics and academics.

The students are enrolled in the F.J. Brennan Centre of Excellence and Innovation’s Hockey Canada Skills Academy, a brand new open-boundary initiative whose ultimate aim is to produce well-rounded young graduates who place a premium on lifelong learning and healthy living, by providing them with the opportunity to achieve academic success while pursuing their passion for hockey.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be launching this new program today,” said WECDSB Director of Education Paul Picard. “Our partners at Central Park Athletics have done a tremendous job of providing us with a first-class facility and we’re confident that the students will have an outstanding experience here.”

Under the program’s guidelines, students will spend half of each day participating in both on and off-ice skills development and academic activities at Central Park Athletics and the other half back at either Corpus Christi or F.J. Brennan, depending on their grade level. Corpus Christi is a middle school which includes students from Grades 7 and 8, while Brennan is composed of students from Grades 9 to 12.

“This is a program that’s been certified by Hockey Canada, which naturally lends it a great amount of credibility,” said Kevin Hamlin, Principal of the new centre. “Our on-ice instructors have a wealth of experience in skills development and the teachers involved with the program have demonstrated a clear commitment to scholastic achievement. Regardless of their skill level and ability, we’re committed to ensuring that each and every student enrolled in this program will improve both academically and athletically.”

“This initiative is the first of its kind for this school board and we’re honoured to provide it with a home,” said James King, owner of Central Park Athletics. “Our staff has worked tirelessly to ensure this facility is in top-notch condition, and to make sure the students and administration have everything they need to make this program an outstanding success.”

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