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MONTREAL, JUNE 7, 2005- The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) announced today that its Student Athlete Program at Holy Cross Elementary School in St. Laurent has expanded to include elite hockey and now soccer.

Montreal Impact goalkeeper Greg Sutton was introduced as the honourary captain of the soccer program. He was joined by a number of his teammates at the Soccerplexe Catalogna in Lachine to formally endorse the project. Université de Montréal head coach Pat Raimondo of P.R.O. Performance will lead the soccer component of the program, which began quite successfully last August with elite hockey. Former National Hockey League defenceman Shawn Anderson, who runs the hockey side of the operation, will return to the ice. He welcomed Matt Lombardi of the Calgary Flames, who will serve as one of his honourary team captains.

Raimondo is a former Lac St. Louis Soccer Association technical director and a graduate from the National Coaching Institute in Montreal. He has been involved with youth development for over 10 years at all levels, from club and provincial team players to the National Team Training Center and currently holds a NCCP level 4 and Canadian Soccer Association National B license, along with several European licenses. Evaluation sessions with be held on Saturday June 11 and Sunday June 12 from 10 a.m. to Noon at the LaurenHill Academy Soccer Field (2505 Cote Vertu). All applicants must attend one of the two sessions. Soccer training will take place during the school year outdoors in St. Laurent and during the winter months at the Soccerplexe Catalogna.

After a very successful first year on the ice, Anderson is looking forward to welcoming his returning student athletes, along with new members. Applications are now being accepted for the hockey component of the program, which will be run by his new company, Shawn Anderson Hockey Specific Training. Anderson has already begun the process of screening applicants to determine whether they will be accepted. Applicants will be evaluated on both their academic and hockey abilities. Only hockey players of A to AA calibre in Grades 5 and 6 will be considered.

The EMSB has also announced that at least seven Grade 6 graduates from the Holy Cross program are expected to join the LaurenHill Academy Lynx hockey program next year, coached by Kosta Papoulias. Shawn Anderson Hockey Specific Training will provide elite training as an extra-curricular activity. That differs from the elementary level, where the hockey and soccer training will be worked into the daily academic schedule.

St. Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa was on hand for the announcement as was EMSB Commissioner Syd Wise.

The hockey website is Interested parties also need to call the school at (514) 334-9555 or drop by 950 Fraser Street to obtain academic registration forms.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213