Peel board to sign agreement with Football North Canada

First-of-its-kind football preparation program in a Canadian public school to open September 2016

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - The Peel District School Board will enter into a partnership agreement with Football North Canada to offer a first-of-its-kind football preparation (prep) program, offered in a Canadian public school. Beginning September 2016, the football prep program will be offered at Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga and will be geared towards elite-level student athletes who train year-round in football. In its inaugural year, between 35 and 50 student athletes are expected to participate in the prep program.

"In Peel, we're committed to ensuring that every student receives a high-quality education with many opportunities to achieve their personal goals," says Poleen Grewal, superintendent of curriculum and instruction support services. "This is why we're excited to partner with Football North Canada. Just as their coaches are committed to helping them achieve athletic excellence, we too are equally committed to helping these student athletes be a part of a school where they will be supported to learn, achieve academically and contribute as valued members of the Clarkson community."

Top high school football players from across and outside of Ontario, who are selected by Football North Canada to be a part of the prep program, will be registered as Clarkson students. They will be expected to meet the full academic requirements of their courses and adhere to Clarkson's Code of Conduct. Students in the Football North Canada prep program will be coached by employees of Football North Canada, and will not compete in any Region of Peel Secondary School Athletic Association (ROPSSAA) sanctioned games. Clarkson will continue to field a school football team separate from the prep team, which will compete in ROPSSAA.

"Our goal is to attract top Canadian talent and keep them in Canada, and we found a great partner in the Peel board," says Larry Jusdanis, head coach and director of football operations with Football North Canada. "Working together, we want to provide student athletes with the opportunity to specialize in year-round football training and compete against the top high school teams and coaches in North America, while they earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma."

In addition to investing in the sports infrastructure at Clarkson, the partnership will also provide other opportunities for Peel board students and staff. These opportunities include professional development sessions for Peel board football coaches.

Applications to the Football North Canada prep program are not being accepted through the Peel board or through Clarkson. Families/Players must contact Football North Canada directly to learn more about their recruitment process, which they run independently. Students who are accepted into the Football North prep program will be registered as students at Clarkson. For more information and to apply for the prep program, visit www.footballnorth.ca.

The Peel board serves approximately 154,000 students in kindergarten to grade 12. Operating 250 schools in the municipalities of Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga, the Peel board is the largest employer in the Peel Region. For more information, visit the board's website at www.peelschools.org.

The goal of Football North Canada's prep program is to be the best student athlete-based football program in Canada. In the pursuit of daily excellence, the student athletes will be leaders in the classroom, community and on the football field. Continually focused on education, teamwork, innovation and competition, Football North's motto will allow investment into elite and safe coaching techniques, in-season and off-season player development, and games against top United States high school programs. The program will strive to become a top 100 ranked high school football team in North America. For more information, visit www.footballnorth.ca.

SOURCE Peel District School Board

For further information: Media Contact: Poleen Grewal, Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Support Services, 905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2343, poleen.grewal@peelsb.com; Larry Jusdanis, Head Coach and Director of Football Operations with Football North Canada, coach@footballnorth.ca; Reference: Carla Pereira, Manager of Communications, 905-890-1010 (or 1-800-668-1146) ext. 2814, carla.pereira@peelsb.com

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