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This article was published 16/11/2015 (1434 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Kelvin High School could become home next fall to an elite hockey academy for 44 boys from across Canada.
Winnipeg School Division trustees will vote this evening on a proposal to approve in principle a partnership with the Winnipeg-based RINK Hockey Academy.
Kelvin High is enthusiastic about the proposal, school board chairman Mark Wasyliw said Sunday.
"These players have a serious career potential" to play professional hockey and to receive university scholarships in the U.S., Wasyliw said.
'The urgency is they have to get registered with Hockey Canada as a hockey academy'— Winnipeg School Division chairman Mark Wasyliw
"They're looking at establishing a formal partnership with Kelvin. The urgency is they have to get registered with Hockey Canada as a hockey academy," and need school board approval in principle no later than Dec. 1.
Kelvin can accommodate the 44 students in grades 10 to 12, Wasyliw said.
He said RINK has been operating elite-level hockey training programs since 2009. RINK officials could not be reached Sunday.
Wasyliw said RINK would be responsible for finding billets for students from outside Winnipeg: "The organization takes care of all that part," he said.
Hockey Manitoba executive director Peter Woods said Sunday RINK has filed an application with Hockey Manitoba and would be operating out of the rink at River Heights Community Centre, about 10 blocks from Kelvin. Woods said Pilot Mound School in the Prairie Spirit School Division in southwestern Manitoba has the province's only hockey academy for boys, which started this year.
"They're operating one team — they've got 20 players," Woods said. "Pilot Mound has players from outside the province and from overseas. They've been out west and into the U.S."
Any student who joins a hockey academy would not be able to play any other level of hockey at the same time, including for the Kelvin Clippers, the school's high school hockey team. "This is your team," Woods said.
He was not aware how far afield RINK is recruiting, but as for local talent, he said, "There is only a finite number of players" of the calibre RINK is seeking for Kelvin.
It would be the division's first hockey academy. A different company operates a girls hockey academy at Shaftesbury High School, in Pembina Trails School Division, and both St. Mary's Academy and Balmoral Hall School operate elite-level girls hockey programs that compete against similar academies in Canada and the U.S.
A report to the board from WSD staff says, "A partnership with an established educational institution such as the Winnipeg School Division would allow RINK Hockey Academy to become certified as a Hockey Canada Sports School Program allowing students/players to balance education, hockey training and personal development.
"The program would be open to all students in Manitoba, and if there is space remaining, it would be open to students across Canada."
Tuition would be about $20,000 a year, paid to RINK, the staff report says. WSD would receive a transfer of fees from the home school division of Manitoba participants and a non-resident fee from families from outside Manitoba.
"We're in the early stages of this," Wasyliw said. "At this point, we're at the memorandum-of-understanding stage."
The Manitoba High Schools Athletics Association has no formal rules about sports academies, executive director Morris Glimcher said Sunday, but academies' students would not be allowed to play against high school teams in that sport.
Academy students would be allowed to play other varsity sports for Kelvin or Pilot Mound, Glimcher said, unless they had played sports at their former high school the year before entering the academy — in that case, they'd be subject to MHSAA's red-shirt rule and would have to sit out a year after transferring.
Glenlawn Collegiate operates a soccer academy for elite-level student-athletes.
So far, Manitoba does not have volleyball and basketball academies at any of its high schools.