2015  h c s a summer seminar on ice 2

Inspiring instructors with innovation

The Hockey Canada Skills Academy summer seminar is making a return to in-person this year, with three days of programming that promises to be educational and inspirational

Quinton Amundson
June 27, 2022

The 19th Hockey Canada Skills Academy (HCSA) summer seminar is a return to traditional roots.

After staging virtual summits in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 70 hockey education delegates from all over the Great White North will convene at Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary from July 7-9. HCSA program leaders will hear presentations from experts and engage in interactive exercises to attain insights on how to take their on-ice and classroom instruction to the next level.

Drew McLaughlin, Hockey Canada’s manager of membership engagement for school programs, says Hockey Canada is heartened and grateful that so many educators enthusiastically enrolled for this experience during their summer holidays.

“So many of them are teachers or have some role in the realm of academia day-to-day,” he says. “Understanding that this seminar is outside of the typical school year, their commitment to excellence and wanting to understand how to grow their program’s capacity to be more inclusive and beneficial is appreciated.”

Three expert facilitators will deliver the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) instructional stream components that will constitute the core programming of the seminar.

Darren Rommerdahl, a player development coach with the Calgary Flames, will guide shooting and scoring drills and impart on-ice and off-ice growth strategies that attendees could apply to their elementary or secondary school pupils.

Vanessa Hettinger, one of just two master skating instructors certified by Hockey Canada, is commissioned to guide the seminar’s on-ice skating presentation. A master instructor with Quantum Speed skating development company, Hettinger will also share student athlete development tips for players at and away from the rink.

Brett Dudar, a Hockey Canada trained skills coach and a High Performance 1 trained coach with Hockey Manitoba, has been tapped to demonstrate small-area skills and offer counsel about effective player and practice management. Dudar currently serves as the director of player development for the Evolution Hockey skills development organization in Winnipeg.

Gina Kingsbury, the director of hockey operations for Canada’s National Women’s Team, will be the keynote speaker. Ross McCain, the director of athletic performance and manager of the Duckett Performance Centre at Edge School in Calgary, will guide a presentation entitled A 360 Degree View on Student-Athlete Development.

Keen to foster strong Member participation in the seminar, McLaughlin said he is pleased four senior provincial officials are joining the 2022 event in a leadership capacity. The hockey leaders are BC Hockey’s manager of athlete development, Dave Cunning; Hockey Northwestern Ontario’s interim executive director and technical director, Jim Fetter; Hockey Manitoba’s director of hockey development, Bernie Reichardt; and Hockey New Brunswick’s technical director, Matt Vautour.

McLaughlin says this event, featuring a welcome return of the face-to-face networking missing the previous two years, is poised to be enriching.

“There is a strong appetite among our attendees and across our 155 school programs across the country to have access to this kind of professional development, education and an opportunity to gather with like-minded individuals to work on best practices and understand at a peer level of how different programs operate.”

For McLaughlin, this will be his first HCSA summer seminar. He looks forward to witnessing the thought-provoking ideas and innovations that will emerge as hockey experts and academic professionals pick each other’s brains. It is safe to suggest that each delegate in the room are wired with a desire to ensure the HCSA nationwide footprint remains vibrant for years to come.

The HCSA program will celebrate its 23rd anniversary during the 2022-23 school year. McLaughlin says he expects that the academy will be a course offering in approximately 160 schools. On average, 5,000 students participate in HCSA classes each year. A hallmark of every school program is its accessibility. Any student, regardless of hockey experience, is welcome to enroll in the unique educational experience.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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