ST. CATHARINES, Ont. – The National Hockey League came to town as a special treat for the province’s largest boarding school today.
Students belonging to Ridley College’s elite hockey programme joined Chris Neil, Cody Ceci, Kyle Turris, Mika Zibanejad, Zack Smith, Mark Stone, Jean Gabriel Pageau, and Nick Paul, players for the Ottawa Senators, for an hour of fun on-ice sessions and scrimmages this Friday at the school’s arena.
“This was an incredible opportunity for our students to not only meet these world-class athletes, but to also get a chance to learn from them during the practice sessions,” said Ridley’s Headmaster, Ed Kidd. “We want to thank the Ottawa Senators, Mr. Eugene Melnyk and members of the organization for visiting the school and spending valuable time with our students and players. It was truly an experience we will not forget.”
After a successful season for Ridley’s First Boys and First Girls hockey teams, the players will be eager to put to use what they learned from the NHLers next season.
Due to its incredible performance this season, the First Girls hockey team has been promoted to the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL) for upcoming 2016/2017 season. Coached by two-time Women’s World Hockey Champion, Amanda Benoit-Wark, the girls team will take on an elite level of competition in this North American league that helps prepare players for NCAA and CIS athletics.
Not to be outdone, the First Boys hockey team, coached by former European league player and Niagara resident Mike McCourt, is coming fresh off its MPHL Championship and silver medal win at the National Independent School Invitational Hockey Championship.
In addition to spending time on the ice with students, the Senators also toured the campus, visited classrooms and checked out the newly built Lower School Playscape, designed for students in junior kindergarten to grade 8.
This past fall, the all-natural playscape was integrated into the existing, mature trees on the school grounds to help promote physical literacy amongst the school’s younger students.
“The idea behind the playscape is that our students will reach physical literacy milestones sooner, which then puts them on the path to athletic success in later years,” said Jay Tredway, Director of Athletics at Ridley College. “Unique playscapes like this have been proven to positively impact learning and academic achievement and build fundamental movement skills, promote resilience and increase creative and imaginative play. The introduction of the playscape is just one of the ways that Ridley is supporting its physical literacy goals and Long-Term Athletic Development plan.”
The all-natural playscape, was built as part of the annual giving campaign for the 2014/2015 school year and Ridley College is currently undertaking an observational study to capture how students are demonstrating fundamental movement skills and imaginative play.
About Ridley College:
Since 1889, Ridley College has provided students with an enriching learning experience focusing on three pillars: the arts, academics and athletics. With 650 students from 43 countries, the largest boarding program in Ontario and second largest in Canada, Ridley is a truly international, coeducational, day and boarding school. Its Lower School offers JK-Grade 8 classes, while its Upper School consists of Grade 9-12. Ridley is an International Baccalaureate (IB) continuum school, with graduates who attend top universities and colleges around the globe.