Presentation on theme: "You Play Hockey Where? Sport Academies in Alberta Daniel Balderson, Ph.D., University of Lethbridge X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Introduction."— Presentation transcript:
You Play Hockey Where? Sport Academies in Alberta Daniel Balderson, Ph.D., University of Lethbridge X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X Introduction Alternative routes to matriculating through high school across Alberta have become common (Alberta Education, 2006; Alberta Learning, 2003). Ten years ago only one Sports Academy existed in Alberta (Warner Hockey School). Today, over 60 Sport Academies operate within Alberta schools. Almost half are found in rural communities (Way, Repp, & Brennan, 2010). Most of these programs revolve around one sport and provide students with the opportunity to compete or train at a high level while they complete junior high or high school. Most academies are connected to a particular school with some having a relationship with multiple schools. Types of Academies Not all sport academies are the same. 1)Elite, Travelling Teams/ Elite Development 2)Multiple Level Skill Development 3)Quality of Life/ School Enhancement Community Impact The benefits to the rural community are beginning to be realized. Initial results indicate that: 1) Rural schools are staying open, adding teachers 2) Community Facilities are Used and Enhanced 3) Jobs in the community have been created 4) Community/ School/ Students are working together (e.g., academy students volunteering with local seniors, coaching youth sports teams) What is a school day like? Academy students progress through the Alberta Curriculum just like other students. Locally developed courses (e.g., Sports Performance) or CTS strands are offered during the school day for athletes to practice their sport and receive credit towards graduation. A typical day might include core academic courses in the morning and locally developed courses in the afternoon which turn into team practice and run until early evening. Schools are accommodating to team travel or individual competition. Satisfactory academic performance is required of most academies. Why Rural Communities? Rural communities and schools in Alberta have embraced the academy phenomenon. Some of the reasons include, 1) Increased Pupil Enrollment, 2) Community Facility Enhancement/Use, 3) Job Creation, 4) Program Choice for Students/Youth, 5) Local Expertise The Future There is no indication that the growth of sport academies in the Province is slowing down. Creative approaches and initiatives related to program development, funding, and communication are needed to sustain what has been started. Academy History Globally, sport academies have been developing elite athletes for years. For example, 82% of German Olympic medals came from athletes who were enrolled in sport academies (Radtke & Coalter, 2007). Sport academies in Canada have only started in the last two decades, but have not become a national phenomenon until the last five years. Today every Province in Canada houses multiple sport academies and this number is growing rapidly (Way Repp, & Brennan, 2010). Academy Challenges As the sport academy phenomenon grows rapidly across Alberta, challenges related to program development, funding, and communication are major concerns.