Sask. Rivers pleased with Global Sports Academy second year growth

Carlton Comprehensive High School. Photo by Jayda Taylor/Daily Herald

The Global Sports Academy partnership located in Carlton Comprehensive High School has had a successful second year. The program has expanded and included students in a new elementary school stream. 

The Saskatchewan Rivers School Division board of education received an update from Superintendent Cory Trann during their meeting to complete unfinished business from their Feb.7 meeting on Monday.

 “We had a really successful year,” education director Robert Bratvold said. “Just like with other programs, COVID caused challenges and interruptions, but the folks in the schools and the Global Sport teachers and Superintendent Trann did lots of work to make a great opportunity and experience for the kids. It really was a good year.”

Bratvold said one benefit was getting more students and sports involved in the additional programs.

“We were able to get the 7 and 8 program centred on leadership in hockey, that’s going to be good. We have got variety of elementary schools connected with that,’ he said. 

“The other piece was the high school program. That includes hockey focused group and also a multi-sport athlete group which aren’t connected, but those two streams are really good because we have got some great athletes who are strong leaders and who are experiencing that support for their leadership and their education and their athletics at a high level.” 

There are currently 49 students enrolled in the academy, with 19 students in Grade 9 to 12 hockey, and 18 in Grade 7 and 8 hockey. The latter brings in students from Red Wing, Ecole Vickers, Ecole Arthur Pechey and Osborne Schools, and 12 students enrolled in the high school athletics stream.

The Grade 9 to 12 program has a blended learning environment where students can work at their own pace and choose what they want to work on. 

Trann’s report showed two students were taken in the WHL draft and two are currently finalizing university athletics commitments. 

Bratvold sees this as a benefit, but not a purpose of the program.

 “I would describe that as a very nice sort of a benefit. Our target group is growing the leadership and skills of our student athletes and Global Sport will share that too. The path is to let them explore their potential and their capacity at future higher levels than that’s fantastic,” Bratvold said 

He explained that he views the program in a similar way to high school extracurricular programs. 

“We are not in the business of making university athletes, but we know that if we focus on building students character, leadership skills, athletic skills that they will be able to make those choices if they choose to,” he said. 

“I absolutely celebrate those sorts of achievements, students drafted into the WHL, scholarships to university those are fantastic things. I just don’t want to give the impression that this whole program is designed to make kids get to those places.”

However, Bratvold said he didn’t want to underplay that aspect because getting to the next competitive level is the goal of some athletes in the program. 

“For others, they are just keen about increasing their skill, expanding their leadership, developing their character skills and that’s fantastic too,” he said.