Spirited school hockey in District 69

In it’s first year, the School District 69 hockey program is having early success among the students.

In it’s first year of existence, the School District 69 hockey program is having early success among the students and they’re doing it all on the ice at Oceanside Place.

Just three months old, the hockey program has 39 students, 10 of which are female. The program is offered to both students at Ballenas and Kwalikum secondary schools.

“We wanted to find something to give the kids a spark,” instructor Greg Lewis said. “Finding that spark to ignite something in our students was really the driving force between starting a course like this.”

“Having the chance to allow students to be involved in a hockey class as opposed to PE, it gives them the chance to take part in a class that they’ll want to be a part of.”

It’s a course that’s open to all students in School District 69, including one student who’s part of the class but is home schooled.

For Lewis, the class had its challenges but it was just a matter of trying it out to see how it would be received.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Lewis said. “There’s lots of factors that go into it, having to find the time to get the gear to the rink, what they’ll do with it after the class is over.”

“A lot of our students are in leagues here in Oceanside, so hauling the gear around is really the biggest challenge for our students I’d say. But we’re working through the kinks and seeing what works best, it’s a work in progress for sure but it makes it worth it seeing the way the kids take to it all.”

The students being part of local hockey leagues has also helped them with their league teams, getting extra practice time in each week.

“They’re out there lots,” Lewis said. “The average player gets about 25 hours of practice time in a month. We’re giving them an extra 30 hours on top of that, so they’re getting a lot of extra time to get better.”

“We’ve got Nolan Kurceba, who works with the Oceanside Generals as a goalie coach, coming and giving his time to the students here that play in goal. We’ve got eight kids that are goalies so having him come out and give them the instruction on the ice has been tremendous for them too.”

On December 17, the School District 69 Hockey program will hold its first inter-school game between Ballenas and Kwalikum at Oceanside Place. Both Rudy Terpstra, Ballenas principal, and Lori Marshall, Kwalikum principal, will be on hand for a ceremonial puck drop and might even skate a shift or two with students.

“We’ll see what happens there,” Lewis said with a laugh. “I know Mr. Terpstra plays regularly, so he might get in on the action. Ms. Marshall used to skate too, so she might join in on the fun.”

“It’s going to be great though, all these kids play together so there’s going to be lots of good spirited competition.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP nab suspect after pair of Parksville business break-ins

Man, 44, arrested and released on conditions

PQBeat: The Old School House Arts Centre executive director Illana Hester

Listen: Podcast talk includes changes at TOSH, long-term view of local arts scene

Superintendent Keven Elder talks to PQB business community about school system

‘I want to thank you for what you do for kids in our community’

‘Soft Shore’ public art installation at Parksville city hall more expensive than planned

Plans to install centerpiece from MAC summer show hits roadblocks

Water flushing in Parksville runs until April

Residents can expect water discolouration

WATCH: Man creates intricate replicas of Parksville-area buildings

Historic models currently on display at community centre

Federal emergency group to meet on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Most Read