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MONTREAL, MARCH 16. 2005 — The English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is excited to announce that the highly successful Student Athlete Hockey Program, which was launched at Holy Cross Elementary School in St. Laurent for Cycle III (Grade 5 and 6) students during the 2004-2005 academic year, will expand to Honoré Mercier Elementary School in East End St. Léonard next September.

Former National Hockey League (NHL) defenceman Shawn Anderson, who runs the Holy Cross program will do the same at Honoré-Mercier via his Hockey Specific Training ( organization. Honoré-Mercier Governing Board Chair Frank Saracino has made arrangements for the on-ice portion of the program to be based at the Marcelin Wilson Arena in Ahuntsic. The student athletes will train there five days a week, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. from September 2006 until March 2007. During the months of April to June, the program will continue with “off ice” training.

An information session regarding the implementation of the program will be held on Tuesday, March 28 (7 p.m.) at Honoré Mercier (8280 Nantes Street). Parents who are seriously interested in having their child take part in this dynamic program must be in attendance. The final cost, transportation and training will be discussed. Space is limited.

The program will offer a quality education and the opportunity for elite athletes to develop their skills in ice hockey. It is hoped that other sports can be added in the years to come. Candidates are expected to maintain a high academic standard in order to be considered for, and to continue within the program. Instructional hours meet Ministry of Education requirements. Modifications will be made to the daily timetable of these students to permit them to receive their intensive instruction in basic hockey skills after school hours.

The project is fully supported financially by the participants and their sponsors. All transportation costs are being assumed by the parents. The project follows the same principles as the Sports Études program at the secondary level, which is now in its fourth year at the EMSB’s Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North.

“We are really excited about this program,” says Honoré-Mercier Elementary School Principal Connie Primiano. “There is already a lot of interest. The fact that Lester B. Pearson High School, which is close in proximity to us, has such a successful Sports Études program makes us a natural feeder school. Our students will in fact get a head start in preparing for their possible entry to an elite high school level program.”

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