Athlete Pathway

Questions and Answers

1. How does the Athlete Academy relate to our Sport Clubs?

The Athlete Academy is separate from our Golden Bears and Pandas Sport Clubs, with each having their own distinct purposes. Our Sport Clubs exist to provide superior competition opportunities, along with training focused on preparing them for these competitions. Our Athlete Academy, on the other hand, provides extra sport-specific training that is tailored to each athlete’s needs, along with integrated sport conditioning, multi-sport involvement, and mental training.

2. Who are the Student-Athletes in our Athlete Academy?

The Athlete Academy is aimed at Grade 10-12 student-athletes with the potential to compete at the post-secondary level, and perhaps beyond. This could mean as a member of one of our Golden Bears or Pandas Varsity Teams, although that is not the only available pathway. Instead, we are comfortable with the fact that some of these student-athletes will end up competing for other universities or colleges, both in Canada and the United States.

3. Who are the Coaches in our Athlete Academy?

Our Golden Bears and Pandas Head Coaches play a key role in developing the sport-specific curriculum for their sport, and working closely with our Athlete Academy Coaches to ensure that this curriculum is implemented successfully. All Athlete Academy Coaches have achieved Green & Gold Performance 2 or 3 certification, with most also bringing with them valuable experience as a Varsity Assistant Coach and/or Student-Athlete.

4. Where is the Athlete Academy based?

The Athlete Academy is based at the University of Alberta, with separate sections existing on North and South Campus. We plan to have the North Campus section include training groups in Golf, Hockey, Swimming, Track & Field and Wrestling, while we intend to have our South Campus section include training groups in Basketball, Curling, Rugby, Soccer, Tennis, and Volleyball.

5. What are the Athlete Academy’s hours?


The Athlete Academy operates from 1:00pm to 4:00pm every weekday afternoon that the Edmonton Public School Board (EPSB) is in session. Half of this time is spent in sport-specific training, which is designed to help our student-athletes enhance their technical and tactical capabilities. Our student-athletes spend the other half of their time on sport-general training (i.e., physical, mental, and multi-sport) and academic content (i.e., Career and Technology Studies and academic support).

6. What differentiates the Athlete Academy’s Sport-Specific Training?

One of the key advantages of the Athlete Academy is that our student-athletes can expect to receive up to 7.5 hours of sport-specific training each week during the school day. This figure represents approximately five times the amount of weekly sport-specific training that is offered within our Sport Clubs. Furthermore, beyond the extra volume, the Athlete Academy’s sport-specific training focuses on addressing each student-athlete’s personal technical and tactical needs.

7. What differentiates the Athlete Academy’s General Athletic Training?

Another key advantage of the Athlete Academy is the general athletic training that our student-athletes receive through our AIM Program. This innovative program incorporates sport conditioning, multi-sport involvement, and mental training, and accounts for 4.5 hours of the Athlete Academy week. This built-in approach makes it much easier for our student-athletes to improve their fitness, athleticism, and psycho-social attributes than would otherwise be the case.

8. Where will our Athlete Academy student-athletes go to school?

All incoming Grade 10 student-athletes will attend Vimy Ridge Academy, the home to EPSB’s Sports Alternative Program. This program offers a number of logistical advantages and is specifically designed to help student-athletes succeed both academically and athletically. With this said, EPSB will allow incoming Grade 11 and 12 student-athletes to remain at their current high schools, provided that they are able to arrange a morning-only academic schedule and can still graduate on time.

9. How many Academic Credits does the Athlete Academy provide?

All Athlete Academy student-athletes automatically receive five credits for Physical Education each year. Furthermore, our student-athletes also receive five additional academic credits each through Career and Technology Studies. More specifically, our student-athletes are exposed to a variety of careers in sport, recreation, and physical activity (e.g. sport coach, physical trainer, sport psychologist, physical education teacher, and sport medicine practitioner).

10. What are the Athlete Academy’s fees, and what do they include?

The Athlete Academy’s fees include two distinct components: 1) sport-general training/academic content, and 2) sport-specific training. The fee for sport-general training/academic content is the same for all Athlete Academy student-athletes regardless of their sport. The fees for sport-specific training differ by sport, and are based on the particular athlete to coach ratios and facility costs that exist.