Feature Sports Stories

Calgary peewee hockey associations adjust to new bodychecking ban

But is it really making a difference in safety at all levels?

Peewee-PHOTO

The Calgary minor hockey season is winding to a close, and with it, the first full year of a province-wide ban on bodychecking for all levels of peewee hockey and under which includes kids ages 11 - 12 years old.

Hockey Alberta instituted the checking ban for the 2013/2014 season after forming a committee tasked with reviewing research on injury risks for minor hockey players.

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Paco Huang: wushu world champion in the making

Young competitor has been gaining a wealth of confidence along with many medals

thumb Paco10At first glance 11-year-old Paco Huang comes off as a shy and reserved boy, but get him to demonstrate wushu and you see just the opposite — a boy who is very strong, precise, and confident.

I certainly saw this when I met with Paco for a photo shoot for this article. When he walked into the studio he was hiding behind his father, Henry Huang, afraid to make any eye contact with the photographers or myself. He only spoke in one or two word sentences when engaged in conversation.

But something happened when Paco got in front of the camera.

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Athletics Canada’s new high performance plan receives ‘hostile welcome’ in Calgary

Local athletes left with few affordable options for training after financial support removed in wake of restructuring

thumb Track3Natasha Jackson thought Calgary had it all.

She made the move from her home in Los Angeles almost three years ago, specifically to train under the guidance of renowned multi-events coach Les Gramantik and his group of high performance athletes.

Now, as Jackson enters her final two years before Olympic trials, Gramantik is out of a job – and due to recent changes by Athletics Canada – Jackson says that she feels that she and other athletes are being cut off from their local programs and encouraged to move.

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Calgary’s Youthanizers prove roller derby is for all ages

Local junior roller team says sport isn't as violent as Hollywood portrays

Derby2 copyThe sound is remarkably similar to a summer thundershower as the four girls of the Youthanizers zoom past on their skates. The vibrant colours of their striped socks blur together as they lap the track during warm-up on a cold Wednesday night in February.

Chinook City Roller Derby's youngest team consists of "four very talented girls," explains head coach Leon Bellavance, who goes by the derby name Flustercluck.

"The nice thing about roller derby is there isn't any perfect person for it," Flustercluck says. "It doesn't matter what you look like or what background you come from — you can end up being good at this."

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