Your kids want to play hockey every day. Or dance. Or soccer.
They’re good. Really good.
And they love it. They enjoy working out and competing. And they like learning more about their sport and being active.
That’s where the Edge School for Athletes in Calgary comes into the picture.
The private school — located on the outskirts of Northwest Calgary near Springbank — allows students to train and excel at sports, at a level far beyond that found in a regular school system.
About 320 children are enrolled in the school, which was founded in 1999 and encompasses Grades 5 to 12. (An Edge Hockey program is also offered for students in Grades 4 to 12 in Fort McMurray, Alberta.)
While the school does develop some elite athletes, any child who is dedicated to sport can apply.
Edge is geared for students who want to pursue their full athletic potential and, at the same time, work hard academically, says Karen Sargent, director of physical education and multi-sport.
For instance, a student may choose to dance or play hockey competitively at a high level. Most schools aren’t able to adapt to that, but The Edge’s academic programs are designed to work around sport schedules.
“We’re here to support a specialization if that’s what a family deems is important to them at that time,” she says. “If they want to be obsessed with hockey the whole year, they can be.”
But the school strongly supports a multi-sport approach to athletic education, she says. Skill academy programs on-site include dance, figure skating, golf, hockey, and soccer, and students can participate on varsity sports teams in golf, hockey, and soccer. Then there are volleyball, basketball, and lacrosse programs.
And in Grades 10 to 12, students spend time at the Duckett Performance Centre on site, developing movement skills, and working on strength and conditioning.
“We definitely encourage students to try another sport, even just for a semester, to avoid burnout or injury,” Sargent says.
“We’ll have that discussion with them about multi-sport and physical literacy and developing the whole athlete.”
A multi-sport approach to fitness keeps you fresh, Sargent says.
“And overall it prepares you to be a better athlete, even if you are specializing down the road,” she says. “You will have developed more holistically.”
Sargent has been working at Edge for seven years, and says she knew she wanted to work at the school when she first heard the motto: “A passion for sport drives a passion for learning.”
The two, she says, go hand in hand.
And how. Edge alumni have gone on to study at Harvard, Princeton, Yale, as well as most major Canadian post-secondary institutions.
But beyond that, she notes, Edge students learn the importance of being active for life, whatever they ultimately end up doing in their careers.
“It’s about long-term athlete development and personal excellence,” she says.
“We want to give students the best tools for whatever they choose to be.”