by Stephen Dafoe
École Citadelle in Legal is in its 10th year of the school’s hockey program and will be holding their 8th annual Spring Classic hockey competition on Mar. 1 in conjunction with Francophone celebrations that day.
“It gives kids who don’t play on a team outside of school the chance to be exposed to the game,” said Lise Gialet, a Grade 9 teacher and hockey coach at École Citadelle, adding the program also gives extra ice time for skill development for those who do play on other teams,
affordability, and consistency in coaching staff. “Our coaches are role models especially for the girls that might be intimidated to play hockey. Having a female coach offers comfort.”
Gialet is joined in coaching duties by Chris Page.
Gialet went on to say the program does not cut into the instruction of core subjects because it runs during lunch hour and physical education class time.
“The elementary students really look up to the junior high students and it gives them the chance to have something in common,” Gialet said. “It is actually all the junior high students that help run this event. We have student refs, timekeepers, some in charge of playing music, tying skates, etc.”
The Mar. 1 game will see the hockey program students taking on the parents on ice.
“We have done an alumni game vs teachers in the past and the students won that one,” Gialet recalled. “Last year we did a junior high vs parents and teachers, and the parents/teachers dominated the students. This year will also be junior high vs parents and teachers. And we are anticipating the same result for this one.”
In addition to being the 10th year of the program, it also marks the 25th anniversary of the school district.
The day will start with a game between recreational players from École Citadelle and École La Mission from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
District employees will be coming to Legal that day to raise the Franco-Albertan flag at the town office at 11a.m. followed by lunch and cake at the arena from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
A ceremonial puck drop will take place at the arena at 12:30 with the district superintendent, principal and coaches.
A second game will take place between the competitive players from École Citadelle and École La Mission at that time.
From 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the junior high student vs teacher and parent game will take place.