So far this year, the Shawnigan ice hockey program has responded to the challenges posed by Covid-19 with impressive energy, positivity, and creativity. Working closely with School leadership and the dedicated team of staff at the Charlie Purdey Arena on campus, Kevin Cooper, Director of Hockey, and his team of committed coaches have developed a comprehensive plan that is providing students who have a passion for ice hockey the opportunity to participate fully and safely in one of the sports they love.
For all of the approximately 80 competitive ice hockey players at the School, there have been four or five sessions per week throughout the month of September. This includes several different types of formats, all consciously designed to keep things interesting for our student-athletes while keeping their development very much at the top of mind. For example, Coach Rob Armstrong, a professional hockey coach and specialist in player development with over fifteen years’ experience working with players within Canada and internationally (https://hockey-evolution.com/about/
), runs several skills-development sessions each Sunday that are each tailored to the players’ various positions (forwards, defence, and goaltenders). Early in the academic week, there have been both traditional on-ice practices and full intersquad games, complete with scoreboard, scorekeepers, referees, and music in between stoppages of play. There have also been several off-ice sessions, including season-opening fitness testing for all players, led by Assistant Director of Hockey, Jeff Compton, who also works as the Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Victoria Royals of the WHL (https://www.timescolonist.com/sports/three-p-s-key-for-isolated-hockey-players-says-victoria-royals-strength-coach-1.24130318
On Fridays, many student-athletes who participate in the ice hockey program are making use of this year’s new SOULo Friday afternoons to develop their leadership skills by organizing and leading player-run skates and fitness sessions with coaches on hand to supervise and provide feedback.
This leads into Saturday afternoons, which have quickly become a highlight of the ice hockey week with our full-program 4-on-4 tournament. All interested players in the School, regardless of whether they are a boy or a girl or what grade they are in, have been mixed onto six equally-skilled teams. These teams face-off in full, refereed, non-contact games throughout the day, and after a five-week round-robin schedule that will conclude at the end of October, seeding will be determined for an intra-School ice hockey playoff. This approach directly reflects Shawnigan’s commitment to co-ed education, inclusivity, and mutual respect, while at the same time satisfying the desire for competition that fuels the drive of these highly-skilled and multi-faceted student-athletes.
– David Chant, English Teacher, Assistant Coach - U17 Prep
Shawnigan Lake School is adhering to all COVID-19 guidelines released by the BC Ministries of Health and Education, including those regarding learning cohorts, physical distancing and mask-wearing when appropriate.