Not only do young girls have the chance to learn hockey skills from a real pro, they’ll also get to learn from someone who was once in their position.
Sarah Zacharias, a 24-year-old assistant coach of Balmoral Hall School’s prep hockey team, is the program co-ordinator for the school’s hockey development program. This is the first year Zacharias is taking the reins of the six-year-old program as Anne Hedley, the original program co-ordinator, is on maternity leave.
This is also the first time in the program’s six years that girls in Grades 6 to 9 who don’t attend Balmoral Hall will be allowed to participate in the preseason training camp.
"We’re hoping that by doing it like this (opening the program up to students that don’t attend Balmoral Hall) that we’re able to increase the level of girls coming out as well as the eliteness of the program," Zacharias, a Balmoral Hall alum, said.
After Zacharias graduated from Balmoral Hall, she went on to play NCAA Division 1 hockey at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y. After graduating from post-secondary school, Zacharias returned to Winnipeg to coach. She coached the AAA Female Midget Hockey Program for Winnipeg Ice for two years. The NCAA Division 1 athlete also coached spring hockey with the Jets Hockey Development (JHD) program. She also coached with the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Academy.
"We are working on basic skill development and conditioning and fun stuff as well," Zacharias said.
Zacharias expects that there will be a broad spectrum of skill levels present at the camp.
"Some of them are peewee players, just learning hockey. Others are going to be AA Bantam players," Zacharias said.
However, there will be many coaches, including past Balmoral Hall alumni, on hand to help girls at any hockey skill level.
"Most of the girls that are going to be applying for this camp already have hockey skill, but that’s not to say we won’t take anyone that doesn’t," Zacharias said. "They’ll probably need a little more one-on-one attention, so if that’s the case, then we’ll work with that."
The camp will be held at the Central Corydon Community Centre (1370 Grosvenor Ave.) during the month of September at the following dates and times:
• Fri., Sept. 5 from 4:45 to 5:45 p.m.;
• Sat., Sept. 6 from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m.;
• Sun., Sept. 7 from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m.;
• Tues., Sept. 16 from 8:45 to 9:45 p.m.;
• Fri., Sept. 19 from 7:20 to 9:30 p.m.;
• Sun., Sept. 21 from 5:20 to 7:20 p.m.;
• Fri., Sept. 26 from 5 to 6 p.m.;
• Tues., Sept. 30 from 8:45 to 9:45 p.m.
Each participant must pay a fee of $250. All girls must bring their own equipment to the camp.
Those interested in registering can do so at http://www.balmoralhall.com/discover-balmoral-hall-school/bh-blazers-hockey/prep-hockey-development/