SHS Juvenile Hockey Team featured in Italian newspaper
While on a March break trip to Italy this year, the Juvenile Hockey team was interviewed by an Italian newspaper.
Here is a highlight video from the trip, as well as the article and a translated text below.
The tour in Italy of the prestigious Selwyn House School
March 22, 2019
By MARTA GRIMA, BOLZANO.
This Montreal high school is making a study-sports trip to Italy, travelling to Milan, Varese and Bolzano invited by Stefan Zisser. “Jim Corsi has worked with us for years, and also the great Angelo Esposito was our player,” says their coach.
What is a Canadian school doing in Italy, and in particular in South Tyrol? The answer is twofold: culture and sport. The historical heritage of Italy is well known, as is our great passion for hockey, which, just like in Canada, is a religion in Südtirol.
The sports team of Selwyn House School started in Milan and Varese, then continued to Bolzano and San Candido, ending with a visit to some of the wonders of Italy, including Rome. Training and matches are concentrated, of course, in South Tyrol, where the boys have had the opportunity to meet their peers and learn about a new sporting reality.
Sport and bilingualism In addition to the love of hockey, the South Tyroleans and the students of the Selwyn House School have another factor: bilingualism. The Selwyn House School is, in fact, a totally male private school located in Westmount, an enclave of the city of Montréal, in Québec, where the official language is French. “Montréal is a very diverse city and is the only really bilingual one,” explains Chris LaPerle, coach of the leading hockey team and coordinator of the entire sector. In the rest of Québec, 95 per cent of the population is French-speaking. The schools are divided into English and French; ours is mainly English.”
Selwyn House School goes from elementary school up to Grade 11, which in Québec is the final one. The boys go on to university in Québec or in other provinces of Canada, even in the United States. In the latter two cases, they must complete an additional grade before they can enter university.
The academic career is the main aspect at Selwyn House School, but sports are also of fundamental importance and is deemed necessary and indispensable for the education of the boys: “Sport is a school of life, we consider hockey a tool to teach our students discipline, respect for rules, leadership and teamwork,” says Coach LaPerle.
The disciplines practiced are many, from cross-country running to squash, from soccer to American football, from wrestling to the bar. Hockey is the main sport, and our team is the one that includes the tenth and eleventh grade of education and each year we play between 50 and 55 matches.”
Given the amount of training and matches, reconciling study and sport is certainly not easy. This is confirmed by sixteen-year-olds Carl Heidemann and Rory Krnjevic. "We are often forced to skip lessons and have to give up a social life, but we know it's worth it,” confesses Carl. Sport teaches you how to manage time and respect rules, it also offers great opportunities, such as this trip to Italy, a nation we adore,” Rory adds.
"The fact that our school is a male school helps because we can be more focused on our goals. It is also easier for us to be ourselves, we don’t have to try to be someone else to impress girls.” And to the question of becoming professional athletes, they both reply: "Who wouldn't like that? But we know that it's not cheap, especially in Canada, where everyone practices hockey, so we try not to neglect our studies, in order to have a plan B.”
Selwyn House School requires that boys make a great commitment, both from an academic point of view and from a sporting point of view, which parents are called upon to support financially, but not without the help of the school, which each year offers various scholarships for study.
“We do everything for the students, also because we know that hockey is a very expensive discipline,” says Mike Maurovich, director of athletics at Selwyn House. “We planned this trip to Italy two years ago and today our young people are here to have fun, but also to learn about another culture, accompanied by me, Chris, Marc Giroux, Chris's assistant for the youth team, and Matt Pickrell, team manager and moral support."
The journey to Italy
At this point, a question arises: why was Italy chosen for training and matches outside Canada? "We have worked for many years with James “Jim” Coris, a former hockey player of the Canadian national team, now a goalkeeper,” says Maurovich in perfect Italian. “He has played for twelve seasons in Italy and, with Bolzano, has also won a championship. It was he who put us in touch with Stefan Zisser [president of the FISG provincial committee]."
Jim Corsi is not the only acquaintance of Selwyn House School linked to Italy: another Canadian hockeista, Angelo Esposito, a former student of the school, played in two Italian teams and now has an academy in Montreal. But it didn't end there. At the match between Vienna and Bolzano on March 8 at PalaNda, Mike and Chris met the Canadian Mike Blunden, who played in Montelard and whose cousin is their friend,
•Selwyn House School of Montreal is among the most renowned Canadian sports schools
•Jim Corsi worked at Selwyn House School and Chris LaPerle found one of his old acquaintances from his days at McGill University, Marc-André Dorion, also Canadian, now in the ranks of the Vienna Capitals.
•Angelo Esposito grew up at Selwyn House School
The hope is that the bond between Italy and Canada will last over time and will enrich both staff and athletes from both professional and personal points of view.