Vancouver Canucks coach Willie Desjardins and local Spartan Sport Group build Hockey Canada Sports School

VANCOUVER, March 29, 2016 /CNW/ - The Spartan Sport Group, West Vancouver Schools, and Hollyburn Country Club are proud to announce their partnership in developing a designated Hockey Canada Sports School on Vancouver's North Shore. The inaugural 2016/17 year will include two men's hockey teams participating in the Canadian Sports School Hockey League (CSSHL): a U16 team playing in the Elite 15 division as well as a U18 team playing in the Varsity division.

The athletic development and training program will be developed, overseen, and operated by the Spartan Sport Group founded by Willie Desjardins, Yashar Farmanara, and Nathan Fischer.

Desjardins has always been passionate about utilizing the power of sport to develop leaders. "I am excited to move forward with the development of the program. I look forward to my involvement to both developing the sporting curriculum as well as the leadership curriculum through my background in education and social work."

"We are very excited to join such a motivated team in establishing what we believe will truly be a world class educational, athletic, and character development program. Our team is committed to the growth and development of our students to be able to handle whatever challenges they face in their lives," said Farmanara.

Fischer reiterated the importance of leadership and character development. "It is very likely that 99% of our students will go on to have a career outside of professional sports. We believe that hockey is an ideal way to build the characteristics needed to excel in all aspects of life, especially perseverance, communication, teamwork, and work ethic. We have no doubt that our leadership program, partnered with Sentinel's first-class education program and Hollyburn's athletic facilities, will result in proud and motivated alumni."

CSSHL – Spartan Sport Group Information Evening:
Thursday, March 31st at 7:00pm
Hollyburn Country Club
950 Cross Creek Road
West Vancouver, BC

Spring Evaluation Camp:
May 7th and 8th – Canlan Ice Sports, North Vancouver
Further information about the Spring Evaluation will be provided at the information evening.
Interested applicants can also find more information at:


West Vancouver Schools –

West Vancouver Schools has a rich history of successful athletic, arts, science, and mathematics programs. There are currently five academy programs operating in the District's three secondary schools, with four more being launched for September, 2016. Diane Nelson, Director of Instruction, West Vancouver Schools, had this to say about this newly-formed hockey partnership:

"On behalf of West Vancouver Schools and the staff at École Sentinel Secondary School, we are very excited to be a part of the Canadian Sports School Hockey League in partnership with the Hollyburn Country Club and the Spartan Sport Group. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 public schools in the province, Sentinel is well-positioned to accommodate student-athletes as the staff has a deep appreciation for the competing demands of the students' course work and their athletic schedules. They also understand the flexibility that is required in order for these students to be successful, not only in their athletic pursuits, but also as developing students and adolescents.

Hollyburn Country Club –

Hollyburn Country Club is a private facility with a 54-year history on Vancouver's North Shore and has produced a number of notable professional, major junior, and NCAA hockey players over the past decade, including Morgan Rielly, the Reinhart brothers (Sam, Griffin, and Max), and Bracken Kearns. Overlooking Burrard Inlet on 42 acres of picturesque hillside property, and having recently undergone a $15 million dollar renovation, Hollyburn is home to nine dedicated sport facilities, including two ice-hockey sheets and off-ice training facilities. The CSSHL hockey teams will have access to these world-class facilities which are situated within a few minutes' walk from Sentinel Secondary School.

"Our partnership with Sentinel Secondary School further demonstrates our commitment to hockey at Hollyburn and allows us to continue to build on our foundation of developing exceptional athletes and leaders of tomorrow. This exciting new program that encompasses everything you would look for in terms of elite level hockey, renowned education, leadership and personal development, will serve our student-athletes well," said Ed McLaughlin, CEO of Hollyburn Country Club.

Canadian Sport School Hockey League –

The CSSHL was founded in 2009 and has developed into Western Canada's eminent development league for youth hockey with 17 participating organizations. The CSSHL strives to be a leader in education based hockey in North America, and over 300 alumni have gone on to play Junior A, Major Junior, NCAA, Professional, or NHL hockey. Andy Oakes, Chairman of the CSSHL, had this to share:

"The league is very excited to have a Sport School enter the West Vancouver area. We feel this now has the lower mainland covered for Sport School operations. This member partner brings with them great enthusiasm, knowledge and partnerships that will prove to be a great operation in the future."

SOURCE Spartan Sport Group

Image with caption: "Spartan Sport Group founders Nathan Fischer, Yashar Farmanara and Willie Desjardins run through an on-ice practice together. (CNW Group/Spartan Sport Group)". Image available at:

For further information: For inquiries regarding the Spartan Sport Group and program development, please contact: Nathan Fischer,, 604 688 3448; Yashar Farmanara,, 604 379 5070


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