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.”

Just Posted

Parksville recycling depot employees report verbal, physical harassment from members of public

Staff say some people are unaware they must sort their own items

Nanoose Bay carver goes all-in on projects

Bellis creates eight-foot totem as Christmas gift for wife

Oceanside RCMP auxiliary officer earns top honour for volunteer work

Dally presented special award by Island Commander

Regional District of Nanaimo to webcast board and committee meetings

Viewers can tune in to watch the regular meetings in real-time

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Vancouver Island man wanted after walking away from halfway house in Victoria

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

Tourism Nanaimo invites celebrities to sample ‘real’ Nanaimo bars

Tourism organization creates video, invites actors Seth Rogen and Dan Levy to visit

Most Read