An early morning phone call from 27 year employee Patrick Sawyer upset plans Graham Parsons had for a major announcement Monday on the future of Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp.
But he rebounded quickly. By noon he was ready to assure everyone that the camp will thrive, using the multiplex as its base.
Sawyer’s message, recalled Parsons was “get down here, the rink fell down!” And on viewing the destruction, it was easy to see it meant the end of a grand old lady. Construction of the arena was started in 1969 and it was officially opened in 1972, according to Parsons.
He had been planning to “roll out a partnership with Hockey Alberta” Monday morning. While that was overshadowed, he divided his time telling the story and assuring the business he’s operated for 40 years will continue, while fielding phone calls of condolence and concern.
Hockey Alberta has partnered with Sylvan Lake Hockey Camp and Development Centre to assist with delivery programs that follow the association’s principals on the Long Term Player Development (LTPD) initiative.
“The camp has enhanced its development programs, both on-ice and off-ice, to ensure these principals are adhered to,” stated a notice sent to minor hockey associations by Hockey Alberta. “Proper “age specific” training is vital to a young player’s future and the more who experience it the better.”
While the LTPD initiative is the focus, the message has to get to the hockey players’ caretakers – their coaches and parents. With this in mind, Hockey Alberta and the hockey camp are offering a comprehensive Coach Development Program throughout the summer.
The program will operate in six-day sessions in conjunction with each of the Sylvan Lake and Jasper Hockey Camp sessions and include on-ice work with players of all ages and off-ice mentoring with certified development personnel.
Hockey Alberta and the Sylvan Lake and Jasper Hockey Camps, entered a pilot project last year to evaluate a partnership to deliver off season development in accordance with goals and aspirations of Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada.
That project led to a formal agreement that makes Sylvan Lake and Jasper Hockey Camps “endorsed licensees of player and coach development”.
“Sylvan Lake and Jasper Hockey Camps have always held values of proper development and have always tried to upgrade our on-ice and off-ice programs to the most up-to-date training information and we feel privileged to help Hockey Alberta expand their delivery of the message of proper age-specific long term player development,” said Parsons on his website.
The agreement gives the hockey camps “access to the very latest training material, training equipment and highly trained advisors to ensure that we can deliver the best product to our students”.
The announcement states, “Sylvan Lake and Jasper Hockey Camps have long been one of Western Canada’s largest providers of shoulder and off season development attracting students and their families from not only every corner of Alberta but nationally and internationally as well. Through our knowledge of the management of the camp and through results of our pilot project partnership last year, we are asssured that this venture will play a significant role in not only providing proper age specific development to approximately 1,000 students per year but getting the “long term player development” message to a large portion of our membership.”