Justin Dickie - The Citizen Players received all facets of a hockey school from Jeff Lewis.
SPRINGHILL Young aspiring hockey players no longer have to travel long distances to attend hockey school the resources are in our own backyard.
The first Amherst Ramblers and Cumberland County Cool Blues hockey school went off without a hitch last week at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill, leaving organizers with no doubt itll be an annual occurrence.
"The two organizations wanted to work together because we believe in the development of the local kids around here. Time and time again kids leave here to go to Moncton, go to Halifax, for hockey schools. It costs them a fortune to go, but we have the resources here in our area to put on a great hockey school," said Ramblers head coach and general manager Corey Crocker.
At the camp, instructed by Blues and Ramblers personnel, 101 hockey players in three age groups 5 to 10, 11 to 13, and 14 to 17 trained for six hours each of the five days doing on-ice skill development drills, off-ice conditioning, watching hockey videos and they also had presentations each day on topics as broad as nutrition, lifestyle choices, goal setting, and hockey talk.
"Those are all the different facets of being a hockey player and being a better person," Crocker said. "Even if kids leave here and decide hockey isnt their first and foremost thing, it never hurts to learn about life choices, decision-making, nutrition, fitnessthose are all life-long things to take with them."
Crocker and Ramblers assistant coach Jeff Lewis agreed the number one goal was to start developing local kids from the grassroots up.
"We want our kids to have the best opportunity to play at the top level. If it starts now at the grassroots, then the kids are going to become better and better and our hockey program is going to become better and better," Crocker said.
Blues head coach Ron Reynolds wasnt available for comment.