In conjunction with the OHA UK, the academy works in close partnership with Lydiard Park Academy. Under 16 players at the academy will take up places offered at Lydiard Park Academy in Grange Park where they will follow the national curriculum and a timetable tailored to allow for early morning ice hockey training at the rink in the nearby Link Centre. Under 18s will attend the new sixth form which opens at Lydiard Park Academy from September 2014 or a local college for vocational alternatives. During term the players from outside of the local area will board with families close to the school and the sports facilities used by the OHA.

This year the OHA has appointed an Academic Learning Mentor, John Dickens, who works specifically with OHA students to ensure that their education opportunities are maximised at all times. See the staff section for a more detailed description of his role.

Under 16 players will spend an hour training on ice before school during the week and will have an off-ice training schedule to follow, in addition to ensuring homework studies are completed.


Pictured: from left, Clive Harding, PE and sport academy leader, Lydiard Park Academy, Markus Houben, managing director of Okanagan Hockey School, Europe, Clive Zimmerman, headteacher, Lydiard Park Academy, Andy Oakes, president of Okanagan Hockey School, British Columbia, Steve Nell, general manager, Swindon Wildcats, Christian Dobbs, assistant headteacher and director of sport, Lydiard Park Academy
Image Richard Wintle, ©Calyx Multimedia

Steve Nell said the hockey academy could only come about by the partnerships being created. “The relationships developed by Okanagan with Lydiard Park Academy and Swindon Borough Council are key to the development of the hockey academy.

”Clive Zimmerman and his staff at Lydiard Park Academy have been very positive and supportive. They are essential to the success of our project because the provision of high quality academic education is essential to the the Okanagan mission. Our partnership with the borough council is the third element in building the hockey academy. Hiring the rink for hockey ice training time is obviously key to the sporting success of the individuals and the team.”

Headteacher Clive Zimmerman said. The link between the hockey academy and Lydiard Park Academy has proven itself to be really beneficial for both the players and the school. A significant number of players have found that their academic success has grown just as fast as their skills on the rink. This is because the quality of teaching at the school is consistently strong, and also because the way the school day is structured around the players' rink time allows them to do both equally well rather than having to compromise one in order to be good at the other.

We've also found that the self discipline and work ethic that is instilled in the players by the hockey academy transfers itself extremely well to school life."

Lydiard Okanagan
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