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LOCCS to begin sports and art academy in fall 2023

Spots in the sports program will be limited and filled on a first-come first-serve basis, with registration opening on Feb. 15 at 9 a.m.

NORTH BATTLEFORD — According to a press release from Light of Christ Catholic Schools, the school division has announced Crusader Sports Academy and Arts Academy will begin operation in the fall.

The program will focus on providing a hockey program for Grades 6 to 9, including U13 and U15 programs, and will be open to all LOCCS students in this age group.

This program will run Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at the Access Communication Centre in North Battleford.

LOCCS has also partnered with Trach Power Skating and Skills, from Saskatoon, who will provide the on-ice instruction and programming for the hockey academy. 

Jordan Trach and Blake Tatchell, both alumni of JPII and who will provide programming with Trach Power Skating and Skills, say they are excited to begin work in the fall.

“It is our belief that in the many towns and cities in Saskatchewan, hockey plays an integral role in creating opportunities for kids to develop life skills …” they said, adding that having grown up in North Battleford, they’re looking forward to being a part of the growth that the academy is offering to children. 

The school division press release indicates officials felt it was essential to choose an organization and individuals who wanted to give back to families and community. 

“We wanted a partnership with people who know the needs and wants of the Battlefords, who can understand our community and who could help us actualize our vision,” reads the release. 

Planning for this program included reflection on the LOCCS organization, developing a clear focus on helping athletes progress. 

This process impacted the target age group chosen. Through research, they learned that if student athletes want to progress in hockey or any other sport, the sport-specific training must occur earlier rather than later. 

On-ice sessions will focus on improving and refining hockey skills, while off-ice sessions will focus on high-performance training, sports psychology, nutrition and other components that athletes need to know and understand.

Participants will receive two on-ice and two off-ice sessions per week. When the ice comes off in the spring, programming will shift focus to other sports and activities that facilitate further skill development and overall fitness.

Concerning the off-ice component of this program, LOCCS has announced Bruce Yockey, principal of John Paul II, Collegiate, will oversee the program from a division standpoint and provide the off-ice instructional component. 

Yockey is well known in the educational and hockey community of the Battlefords as he currently serves as president of the Battlefords U18 AAA Stars.

“We also wanted to offer an individualized program at a cost-effective price point for our families, and we believe the planning and partnerships we have entered into ensure we are able to do this,” LOCCS officials say.

LOCCS is also planning to expand the existing art, drama and music program, beginning in September of 2023, with their second focus area for Crusader Academy being performing arts, band and music. 

This program will run out of JPII and will be offered to students from Grades 8 to 12.  

This program will leverage the new state-of-the-art educational space currently being built in JPII. A significant aspect included in the planning of their renovation includes building a new stage in the commons area along with a modern learning stair for seating. 

This new area will also be equipped with a new servery, complete with a commercial kitchen so the school can host events with food services.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to leverage this new space and provide an excellent and unique curricular and extracurricular program. The newly renovated space will be ideal for drama, music and band programs alike,” LOCCS states.

LOCCS is in the end stages of planning and awaiting some details before setting final costs. Spots in this program will be limited and will be filled on a first-come first-serve basis. 

Registration for spots in the Sports Academy opens Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. Visit  to reserve a spot.

LOCCS still has some details to finalize before opening registration for the arts academy, and more information will be available later.

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