RED DEER - Two outstanding post-secondary students have received Distinguished Leader status from the 2018 Future Leaders Development Program.
Brett Ponich and Jake Wozney will each receive a $3,000 scholarship for their work during the Development weekend and Team Alberta Male U16 Summer Camp in Camrose.
The Future Leaders Development Program is designed to develop and train post-secondary students in the area of coaching. Areas of focus include proper instruction, administration, leadership, technical and tactical skills in hockey, so that the future leaders can carry those skills into our communities. Scholarship opportunities are made possible by the Hockey Alberta Foundation. Since the Future Leaders Scholarship program was established in 1998, the Hockey Alberta Foundation has invested annually in the development of great leaders for the future of the game and our communities in Alberta.
Ponich started his playing career in the Beaumont Minor Hockey Association. He moved on to play Bantam and Midget AAA in Leduc before spending time with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, NHL’s St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets organizations. Currently, Ponich is a student-athlete for the University of Alberta - Augustana Vikings where he is working on a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education degree, with hopes of entering medical school after his graduation.
"The Future Leaders Program allowed me to receive structured coaching instruction that complemented my experience of playing the game," said Ponich. "I was able to not only learn more about the game of hockey, but also how to communicate and work with people better."
Wozney grew up in Richmond, BC and began playing with the Seafair Minor Hockey Association. He has been well-travelled, spending time with the Greater Vancouver Canadians, Junior B Richmond Sockeyes, BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers, AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons, and SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings. He is currently playing with the Red Deer College Kings, where he is in his second year of the Kinesiology and Sports Science Program.
"It means a lot to me that experienced coaches with Hockey Alberta can see potential in my coaching ability, even with the limited experience that I have," said Wozney. "It gives me motivation to pursue a career in coaching, as well as to continue to grow and add more tools."
Registration is now being accepted for the 2019 Future Leaders Development Weekend, taking place in Red Deer, May 3-5.