Student athletes from Regina tour namesake warship

Student athletes from Regina tour namesake warship

2Lt Chelsea Howard, Contributor ~

It was a special day for students and teachers from Regina’s Martin Academy when they capped off an activity-filled visit to Victoria with a tour of HMCS Regina Sept. 12.

“Every year with our premier performance athletes we do a different field trip, and besides being a cross-training activity where we do different sporting activities, we try to make it educational as well,” said Brent Adam, a strength and conditioning coach with the Academy, and chaperone. “Knowing we were coming to Victoria, and I have relatives that were in the navy, and currently in the navy, I thought it would be a perfect learning opportunity for our students. It was perfect timing that the frigate was docked here.”

It was also perfect timing for one crew member in particular. PO1 Joseph Fogarty, Regina’s Chief Clerk, is a Martin alumnus and just happened to be on deck when the tour group arrived.

“When hearing the pipe across the ship about the Martin Academy tour I was very surprised, so I proceeded to the flight deck to introduce myself. The students reminded me of where I was at that point in my life at the school and the wonderful teachers I had,” said PO1 Fogarty.

Martin Academy is a specialized school that offers students the opportunity to train for their chosen sport during the school day. Students can select one of four streams to pursue, including baseball, fast pitch, hockey, and the premier stream that focuses on non-mainstream individual sports such as dancing, martial arts and gymnastics. The 28 students on the trip ranged from Grades nine to 12, and were part of Martin Academy’s premier stream. However, there’s more to Martin Academy than sports.

“Pretty much close to 100 per cent of Martin Academy students go on to post-secondary. It’s not just athletics – they’re very motivated in their academics.

There’s a lot of life balance that is part of our program, so they’re very driven academically as well,” said Adam.

One such student is Sarah Spicer, a premier stream student whose chosen sport is dance.

“I do lots of competitions, about three big travelling competitions a year. We’ve gone to Edmonton, Calgary, and all the big cities of Canada,” she says.

When it comes to post-secondary she says, “I think I want to be a physiotherapist actually, to go into the medicine, muscular side of things. I’ve learned a lot from my own injuries and I feel I could help others with theirs.”

No student tour is complete without a takeaway recruiting message, and with Martin Academy’s focus on a healthy life balance and sports, the tour provided an opportunity for recruiting’s PO2 Heather Smolinski to talk about the advantages of pursuing a paid education and career with the military. This included a question and answer period with Regina’s Lt(N) Connor Duke, an ROTP graduate and Logistics Officer who continues to play sports through CISM.

“This was a really eye-opening experience for the kids,” said Adam. “They had no idea what to expect on the tour; all they knew was we were coming to a navy base and going on a boat, and so to see all that goes on, as well as learn about the educational components that are possible for them, and career choices, it’s truly been a worthwhile part of our tour.”

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