By Anna Smith
Two Prairie Rose schools will be welcoming a step up to the plate with a fresh new Prairie Rose possibility in partnership with the Medicine Hat Mavericks.
The program is aimed at grades 4–9, said program coordinator Darren MacMillan, with the goal of building those foundational skills from an early age.
Senator Gershaw School in Bow Island will be the first to enjoy the new athletic partnership, alongside Irvine Irvine School and Schuler School.
“Things are going to grow,” said MacMillan. “I know when we’ve started other programming. It’s not long until I get a call from another school saying, ‘Hey, we would like to get that here.’”
Gershaw was selected due to a streak of good fortune, as Chad Martin, the assistant coach with the Mavericks since 2009, also happens to be a teacher at the school.
“To have somebody at the school level is huge, right? We could have this great partnership and relationship with the Mavericks, and we could be working our butts off and the Mavericks could be working their butts off,” said MacMillan. “But if we don’t have somebody at the school level, then we’re going to be in trouble there.”
Having someone at the school level helps to really connect with individual students, said MacMillan. Irvine, meanwhile, is a rapidly growing school, the second-largest in Prairie Rose, and the students there all have a hunger for unique or different programming, as proven with programs such as their Agricultural Discovery Centre.
“We are just extremely excited to be working with the Medicine Hat Mavericks. You talk about sports, in particular in our community, the first two names that are going to come up are the Medicine Hat Tigers and the Medicine hat Mavericks,” said MacMillan.
The division already enjoys a partnership with the Tigers for their hockey academy, and is thrilled to be adding this new programming as soon as the upcoming 2024 spring semester.
“It’s just an exciting opportunity for our students,” said MacMillan.