Meghan Agosta opens hockey camp in Amherstburg

 

By Joel Charron

Meghan Agosta’s career is peppered with accomplishments.

NCAA records, Canadian Women’s hockey records and a pair of Olympic gold medals but perhaps her greatest accomplishment is the opening of Agosta’s High Performance Hockey Academy last week at the UCCU Complex.

“The camp has been a dream of mine ever since I was younger,” said Agosta.

The 25-year-old began planning the hockey camp last summer, compiling ideas with her fiancée Marco Marciano and brother Jeric.

Agosta planned everything from finding sponsors to booking the ice and taking phones calls.

“I basically did it all,” laughed Agosta. “I knew what I wanted to do and I’m proud of what I‘ve done.”

The camp is open to both girls and boys and has sessions for seven to 11-year-olds and 12 to 16-year-olds.

With 75 players attending this year, Agosta is very pleased with her new project.

“The best part is seeing the smiles on the kids faces,” she said. “I want the kids to learn but I also want them to have fun. That’s what playing hockey is all about, having fun.”

With two sessions planning for 2012, each session is a week long, running from Monday to Friday. Each day the participants have 2 on-ice sessions lasting an hour and a half each and two off-ice session lasting an hour.

Agosta said during the on-ice session campers will learn about power skating, skills and drills.

“We teach them the fundamental of hockey,” she said. ‘We we try to challenge them, depending on their skill level.”

 

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Meghan Agosta explains a drill to a pair of campers.

Agosta believes it is important to teach children skills at a young age. The two-time Olympic gold medalist drew from her own game she feels has helped her achieve the level of success in women’s hockey.

“I love teaching the kids how to skate,” said Agosta. “At the end of the day hockey is all about skating and being able to use the puck while skating.”

The off ice session is run by teammate Vanessa Davidson.

“She’s been doing a great job,” said Agosta. “Basically what we do off the ice with Team Canada, we’re trying to do here as well.”

Agosta said one of the main reason she started the camp was to gift back to her community.

“At the end of the end it’s not about me and the medal I’ve won, it’s about giving back,” she said. “I’m here to teach them what I’ve learned growing up.”

To teach those skills, Agosta enlisted the help of Jaric and Marciano, both with a plethora of hockey experience and knowledge.

“Meghan worked very hard to put all this together,” said Marciano. Marciano said for children to share the ice with a two-time Olympian and able to ask questions about the game can only benefit their game.

“It’s always fun for kids to be around someone who has achieved so much in the sport,” said Marciano.

Marciano, who has been involved in hockey camps for over 13 years said Agosta’s camp is a little different than most.

“She has so much experience from being coached by so many people over the years, she is able to bring that here and pass all that knowledge to the kids,” he said.

Agosta’s brother, Jaric said being able to work alongside his sister during the camp has been quite the experience for him.

“It’s been exciting,” said Jaric. “Growing up with my sister we always played together, we didn’t play on the same team, but playing road hockey and stuff like that. It’s fun being around Marco and Meagan.”

“They both do a great job,” he continued. “We all feed off each other. “

Jaric said it is “amazing” to see how the children respond to Agosta.

“They absolutely love Megs,” he laughed. “They are so wide eyed when she talks. Everyone is always listening and always asking questions. They are very good kids.”

Agosta called the UCCU Complex a “beautiful facility” with an “amazing staff.”

“I’m very happy and proud that they took me in and allowed me to have my hockey school here,” she said. ‘They have done nothing but help and made us feel at home here. Everything is pretty much prefect for the camp, I’m pretty lucky.”

Agosta knows attaching her name to her own hockey school come with a lot of responsibility, however that’s nothing new for her.

“I always tell them if they work hard and have fun then that’s when they will be at their best,” said Agosta.

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