Skating to Success at John Davidson School

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In Coaldale, John Davidson School is breaking the ice on a pioneering program that not only introduces students to the joys of ice skating but also strengthens family and community bonds. This remarkable journey began with a vision, a passion for skating and the enthusiasm of students.  “The students know I have an extensive hockey background, they often ask me questions about it, and this was a nice opportunity to share that with them” says John Davidson principal, Fred Jack.   

Recognizing the keen interest in skating among students, many of whom had never experienced the thrill of gliding on ice, Principal Jack envisioned an inclusive program that could offer this exhilarating opportunity to all. Thanks to a generous grant from the Community Foundation, this vision has become a reality.

The school's initiative took shape through the collaborative efforts of Principal Jack and the school’s Making Connections Worker, Tori Norlin. Their proposal to the Community Foundation was met with enthusiastic support, leading to the creation of an extensive skate and skate equipment library. This library is not just a collection of gear; it's a gateway to new experiences, learning opportunities, and the development of physical skills for students and their families alike.

Safety and inclusivity have been paramount in this initiative. Each pair of skates is accompanied by protective gear, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for beginners and more seasoned skaters. The program's innovative approach includes adjustable skates sourced by Tori, catering to the needs of every student and allowing for the sharing of equipment with families. This thoughtful consideration extends the joy of skating beyond school hours, inviting families to create cherished memories together.

The benefits of this skate library offer not only opportunities for physical activity but also fosters a sense of community and encourages confidence in the development of new skills.  Principal Jack's vision extends even further, aiming to share these resources with other schools within the Palliser School Division, amplifying community benefits.

The excitement surrounding the skating program is palpable, with students and families eagerly anticipating the next season. There is talk in Coaldale of a new outdoor arena and students are crossing their fingers for another venue to explore their new shared passion for skating. 

Staff, students and the whole John Davidson community are incredibly grateful for the generous grant from Community Foundation that will serve students and the wider community for years to come!

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