(Article Courtesy Martin Martinson/Battlefordsnow.com)
The Battlefords North Stars recently announced the dates for their annual summer Hockey School in North Battleford, which for the first time, will also include a Female Hockey School program.
Running simultaneously, Monday, Aug. 28 to Friday, Sept. 1, the Hockey Schools will feature dryland and on-ice skills training for both groups, with the males in the morning and females in the afternoon.
Head coach of the North Stars, Brayden Klimosko, who will run both as head instructor, said the Female Hockey School was something the Stars saw as a valuable addition to their regular programming with the continued growth of the female game in the region.
“[Stars’ marketing manager] Kennedy [Schmidt] thought of the idea, and especially with the mass turnout we have in minor hockey with the girl’s hockey we figured we’d give this a try,” Klimosko said.
From there, the Stars’ bench boss then reached out to AAA Sharks’ coach Nolan Horbach, to see about getting some female AAA players from the area to come out and assist, something the new Sharks’ coach jumped on right away.
“I believe it is an important partnership and one that can allow the Sharks to connect female hockey players and families and the community, [and] a positive step in the right direction for our organization,” Horbach said.
While female players have always been welcome to attend the Stars Hockey School in past years, the female-specific program presents a new opportunity to have female players from the Sharks and around the area help out, providing female role models in the game for the young girls to look up to and learn from.
Klimosko said that interaction element is a big part of the experience for the kids who attend the camps with the North Stars’ players each summer.
“The big thing the kids really like is the interaction with the players, so it starts with having good coaches and players who want to have that interaction with the kids,” he said.
North Battleford’s Keyra Buziak is one of the local players who will be helping out at the Female Hockey School.
Buziak is coming off a standout final season of Sask. Female U18 AAA play with the Saskatoon Stars, which saw her finish second in SFU18AAAHL scoring with 47 points (18 goals, 29 assists) in 30 games.
A recent commit to Lakeland College for the fall, Buziak said she still remembers fondly her own experiences at the Stars’ Hockey School growing up, honing her game from a young age in the summer months.
“I went to the North Stars’ camp just about every year,” Buziak recalled with a smile. “I always was looking forward to this camp as it was so fun.”
“I remember I got to meet a whole bunch of new friends and I always looked up to the players who took the time to help me on the ice, so being able to go back now and have little girls look up to me just feels awesome.”