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Academics, athletics attracted new hockey expert

Hockey Expert
Posted on 05/08/2019
Pat Murphy

Seeing how enthusiasm for a sport can result in improved academic performance is what attracted Patrick Murphy to the WECDSB’s hockey academy.

“The ability they have to combine academics and athletics in a safe and positive learning environment” is what appealed most to the newest skills expert at the Hockey Canada Skills Academy at Central Park Athletics.

“I can see it from the kids faces out on the ice that they’re excited to come out to the rink, and that just carries on over into the classroom,” he says. “As a coach, and as a player and a student of the game, that’s exciting to me.”

A former amateur player, Murphy has skated with both the LaSalle Vipers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League and the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, and was part of the Spits Memorial Cup team in 2010 and the Vipers Sutherland Cup team in the same year. He has coached AAA hockey for both the Sun County Panthers and the Tri-County Bobcats, and volunteers as a coach with the Cadotte Hockey Academy.

Murphy, who owns his own financial planning business, said he loves to see the values that are instilled in academy students through combining sport with education in a faith based atmosphere.

“I know the school board prides itself on leadership, being true to each other and treating people the way you want to be treated, and I think you learn  a lot of those messages playing sports,” he says. “Leadership, accountability, hard work, team work, respect … all these things you pick up on from the coach and from your peers transmits to your next citizens of Windsor, Ontario.”

The WECDSB launched its first Hockey Canada Skills Academy at Central Park Athletics in 2015 with about 90 students. Since then the programs have exploded in popularity and the board now offers nine academies in such activities as basketball, soccer, dance, baseball and gymnastics at a variety of school locations. There are more than 700 students enrolled in these programs.

Learn more about our academy programs here.

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