There have been Hockey Canada skills academies popping up around the country, mirroring a sports-and-school trend in Europe for years. The latest has been approved for London, at St. Thomas Aquinas secondary school, which will use morning ice at Nichols Arena, starting with Grade 9 and 10 students in September 2018.
The on-ice focus will be skill development. Off-ice, the teens will learn about the theory, strategies and history of hockey, nutrition and sport medicine.
The Hockey Canada and school board link-up started out of recommendations made at the 1999 Molson Open Ice Summit. The academies are adapted to meet Ministry of Education requirements and allow each student to commit to 15 hours per week to the program.