CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced Monday that St. Mary’s Academy will host the inaugural Female World Sport School Challenge, scheduled for Feb. 21-24 at the MTS Iceplex in Winnipeg, Man.
The 2013 Female World Sport School Challenge will bring together girls’ prep teams from eight sport schools across the country, including host St. Mary’s, along with fellow Winnipeg schools Balmoral Hall and Shaftesbury Hockey Academy; the Edge School for Athletes from Calgary, Alta., and Banff Hockey School from Banff, Alta.; Okanagan Hockey Academy from Penticton, B.C., and the Pursuit of Excellence from Kelowna, B.C.; as well as Rothesay Netherwood School from Rothesay, N.B. The tournament will feature preliminary round action Feb. 21 and Feb. 22, the relegation round and semifinals Feb. 22 and both the bronze medal and gold medal games Feb. 24.
“Last year we introduced the very first World Sport School Challenge, which provided boys’ prep school teams with the chance to showcase their skills on an international stage,” said Kevin Bathurst, manager of schools programs for Hockey Canada. “This year we’re thrilled to introduce the girls’ event, which will give elite female players the chance to hone their skills and compete with their school teams at the highest level possible.”
The World Sport School Challenge and Female World Sport School Challenge have been developed in line with a commitment made by Hockey Canada to help sport schools across the country create learning environments for players that are encouraging and competitive, while promoting a positive balance between academic and athletic achievements. Hockey Canada is also committed to offering these specialized schools flexible infrastructure so that they can help their student-athletes reach their goals of being the best they can be, both on and off the ice.
Hockey Canada currently supports 15 sport schools across the country through formal partnerships that enhance learning opportunities while developing hockey skills. This year’s Female World Sport School Challenge host team, St. Mary’s Academy, has been an official Hockey Canada sport school since 2011, establishing a respected and reputed program and teams that participate in games and tournaments across Canada and the United States.
“The St. Mary’s Academy Flames prep team is proud to host the very first Female World Sport School Challenge, and looks forward to welcoming players and fans alike with excitement and enthusiasm,” said Sister Susan Wikeem, director of St. Mary’s Academy. “Winnipeg has a long history of hockey passion that will be evident when these eight school teams face off for gold at the MTS Iceplex this February.”
The Female World Sport School Challenge is also expected to be an important venue for elite female players attending prep schools to compete in front of scouts from post-secondary institutions across North America, including from Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).
Team Canada alumna and Winnipeg native Jennifer Botterill has been confirmed as guest speaker for the first-ever Female World Sport School Challenge, and will address the participating players at an event banquet at the Victoria Inn. As a three-time Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion with Canada’s National Women’s Team, Botterill will provide motivational messages to inspire these student-athletes to perform at their very best.
For more information about the 2013 Female World Sport School Challenge, follow along via social media at www.Twitter.com/WSSChallenge and www.Facebook.com/WSSChallenge, and please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca/fwssc.