Central Okanagan’s Hockey Academy: Pursuit of Excellence
Kelowna is home to one of the province’s top hockey academies — the Pursuit of Excellence. President and CEO David Roy has been one of the top skating coaches in the world, working with NHL teams like the Dallas Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, and Vancouver Canucks, as well as the Canadian Men’s and Women’s National and Olympic teams. David Roy has built up a great team around him of top hockey coaches, off-ice trainers and has also teamed up with a great school in George Elliot Secondary in Lake Country.
Top players from Bantam to Midget from across Western Canada flock to Kelowna to get a chance to be a part of the Pursuit of Excellence Academy. These top players make the commitment that school is the number one priority, but they also get a chance to receive quality on and off ice coaching and training every day.
Pursuit of Excellence is fortunate to be affiliated with George Elliot Secondary School in Winfield. Students receive plenty of ice time at Winfield Arena, and also have their very own world-class off ice training center. They hire top coaches like former NCAA and WHL players Ed Zwatsky and Jason Beckett. They receive world class off-ice training from the team at Aspire Health and Performance. This mixture of academic and athletic training ensures each child will develop their mind in the classroom, rapidly increase their skills on the ice, and physical develop off the ice.
Pursuit of Excellence has been fortunate to have recruited many top players from Western Canada. A few notable former players are Curtis Lazar of the Calgary Flames and Tyson Jost of the Colorado Avalanche. While it is every player’s dream to become an NHL player like Lazar and Jost, the main focus of the academy is to showcase each young player’s talent alongside other elite players and hasten their development as a player, athlete and person.
Many of these out of town players are billeted with local families in the Lake Country, Kelowna and West Kelowna communities where these players are taken into a family’s home and made feel welcome and treated as if they are actually a member of their new family.
Admission for the Pursuit of Excellence requires a deposit, reference letters and interviews with parents and children. The purpose behind this strict evaluation process is to make sure each player will be suited to the heavy schedule and structure of the program. Making sure everyone is on the same page is important when committing to one of the province’s top hockey academies.
Due to the young age of some players, there are families who do not feel comfortable sending their child away into another family’s home. These families have chosen to purchase condos and single-family homes in the Okanagan region. Due to the hot real estate market in the Kelowna/West Kelowna region, these families often enjoy the valley while their child attends Pursuit of Excellence, then use the property as a rental or sell for a profit when their child is done playing for the Academy.
Whether families choose to sell their home, or continue to use it as a rental property, Okanagan real estate is a smart investment. With a rental vacancy rate of under 1%, there is a great chance of finding qualified suitable tenants for short or long term. For families pursuing a hold-and-sell strategy, the Central Okanagan has seen steady increases in single-family homes and condos in the past few years. The Okanagan’s projected increase in population makes purchasing Okanagan real estate a strong investment.