Former Olympian repays Miramichi; Blackville’s Kathy McCormack operates hockey school for girls

Classes might be out for the summer, but one teacher is going back to school this week.

Blackville’s Kathy McCormack is a Grade 7 teacher in Etobicoke, Ont., but she will be donning her skates this week for her first-ever hockey school.

McCormack grew up in Blackville and played her minor hockey in Blackville and Renous. She played for several New Brunswick women’s teams, made the Canadian women’s team and played in the 1998 Olympic Gamess in Nagano, Japan, coming home with a silver medal.

Now, McCormack is giving back to the community that has supported her by putting on a hockey school for girls at the Lord Beaverbrook Arena in Miramichi.

“I’m pretty excited about the hockey school,” said McCormack.

“I’ve worked at hockey schools before, but this is the first time I’ve been the one organizing it, so it’s a step in a new direction and, hopefully, it will only be the first one here on the Miramichi for me,” said McCormack.

The school opened yesterday and will run until Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

McCormack said there is room for 60 girls. At the moment there are 25 girls registered between the ages of five and 18.

“We will try to be very accommodating. If anyone still wants to show up at the rink to register we will take them, no matter what day it is,” said McCormack.

“With fewer numbers than the capacity we are able to have, makes it better for the girls to receive more one on one instruction,” said McCormack.

McCormack will have some very skilled help running her hockey school. Joining her are Kim Malcher from the Toronto Arrows of the Professional Women’s Hockey League, teammates Jen Rawson and Kate Foley of the Oakville Ice in the same league.

Three of the four, including McCormack, are teachers, which certainly helps in delivering their message to the girls. Looking after the off-ice duties are Lynn Carney and Nancy Donovan.

“I’ve got people working with me who certainly know what they are doing. I’ve worked with them before and know how good they are,” said McCormack.

“This is a great opportunity for me to give back to the community which has supported me through my career. I want to share my hockey experiences with them.

“It is nice for them to have female role models from the sport. I also want to show them that they have the opportunity to continuing playing hockey at a higher level,” said McCormack.

McCormack continues to perform at a very high level herself as she will suit up again for her fifth season with Oakville as a forward. But not only does she lead with her hockey skills, McCormack is also the team captain.

“I’m just looking forward to a good week of hockey,” said the former Olympian, the daughter of Jack and Amber McCormack of Blackville.

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