If you are a hockey player, or someone wanting to learn the game, Carlton Comprehensive High School has a program that might interest you.
The Carlton Hockey Program is a school credit class open to Grade 9 students on a year-round basis and is also offered to Grade 10 students in each of the two semesters. Those in Grade 11 and 12 who have not taken the Hockey 10 class can apply to take it, but entry will be determined by space availability.
“It gives them 50 hours of extra ice time, which is pretty significant,” says Mark Odnokon, the program teacher/instructor. “It is open to high-end (players) or beginners. They get to challenge themselves at different levels.”
The program, which is associated with Hockey Canada’s Skills Program, has three components: on-ice instruction, health sciences studies plus a historical look at the game.
The program also offers the students a chance to see what other opportunities are available in the game outside of just playing. Sessions on officiating, marketing and promotion along with business studies are also covered.
“The whole focus is we just don’t want to develop hockey players; we want to develop good people, volunteers and citizens,” says Odnokon. “They can see that there are other opportunities to stay in the game.”
Enrolment this year was down slightly too about 30 students, but Odnokon wants to get a jump on next year by letting students know that the class is available.
Participants need not worry about what level they are at on the ice as instruction is fair to everyone with beginners being able to learn from the more experienced players. Those who have a higher skill level enjoy being able to pass on their knowledge to those just starting out so it works out for everyone.
Odnokon says it is also unique in the fact that there is no pressure to win; just to get out and enjoy the game. Part of that enjoyment comes from learning about the history of the sport as so many young enthusiasts aren’t familiar with the Gordie Howes, Bobby Orrs or Maurice Richards. Odnokon uses the Summit Series from 1972 as an example saying the students weren’t aware that it was an eight-game series between Canada and Russia that changed the landscape of the game.
For everything that is offered all it costs is an additional $50 at registration time. That is a pretty amazing offer and considering it is a credit towards graduation, there really should be a line-up to get in.
So, anyone interested in taking the Hockey 10 class next year can contact the Carlton office 306-922-3115 or e-mail Odnokon directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.