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Oilers ICE School Offers Adventure and Inspiration

by Lauren Gilley / Edmonton Oilers


Rexall Place came alive early Wednesday morning as over 300 students laced up their skates for ICE School’s annual skating day. For most students, this was the first opportunity to hit the ice since last winter and for many, it was the experience of a lifetime.

Adnan Shakil, a grade 8 student from Michael Strembitsky School, arrived in Edmonton from Bangladesh just one month ago. “Where I come from it is 34 degrees so it is a little different to see snow. I love Canada so far,” the thirteen year old said. “I have never skated before. I’ve fallen at least five times today, but it’s great!”

Adnan’s positive attitude and eagerness to learn embodies the spirit of ICE School and serves as a prime example of the inquiring-based learning that happens at Rexall Place throughout the year.

“For my students to come to an arena of this nature, try a bunch of new things, persevere and have fun is pretty inspiring for me as a teacher,” said Julie Arsenault, ICE School Lead at Michael Strembitsky School.

A veteran teacher of the ICE School program, Brad Mamchur of Riverbend School sees the positive affects extend far beyond the one week at the rink.

“Through ICE School these students are able to absorb what’s around them in a unique setting, take that back into the classroom and build on the experiences for the rest of the year,” said Mamchur. “This skating day really culminates the entire adventure that is ICE School.”

For over 10 years, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation (EOCF), Northlands and Edmonton Public Schools have been stimulating young imaginations through ICE School. Over the years, the program has welcomed over 4,600 students, 780 presenters and 182 schools from across Oil Country including classrooms from Fort Saskatchewan, Hobbema, NorQuest College and the Alberta School for the Deaf.

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