Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

New hockey academy coming to Grand Rapids for 2019-2020 school year


By @MichaelCaples –

Total Package Hockey first opened their Center of Excellence hockey academy in Metro Detroit in 2014.

Now, they’re heading out west.

The hockey training company has announced that a new Center of Excellence will be operated from the Southside Ice Arena in Byron Center, just outside of Grand Rapids.

Southside Ice Arena co-owners Mike Slobodnik and Travis Richards are partners in the endeavor with TPH, as they bring the unique blend of hockey and academics to the west side of the Great Lakes State in time for the 2019-2020 school year.

“Both Mike and I are deeply passionate about the growth and development of the hockey players involved in all programs at Southside Ice Arena,” Richards said in a press release. “The CoE model will provide the ultimate development opportunity for local players who have a desire to be the best they can be on the ice, in the gym and most importantly, in the classroom. Mike and I take great pride in doing things the right way and giving our best to shape young kids into young men through the game of ice hockey. Hockey is who I am; it is where I made almost all my friends. My goal is to share my wonderful experiences with as many kids as possible. The CoE model provides us with yet another avenue to do that.”

“TPH’s reputation for developing hockey players is extremely positive and well-known throughout the hockey community,” Slobodnik said in the same release. “Nathan Bowen and his team didn’t have to do much to convince us that their training methods are cutting edge and transferrable to today’s game. What impressed Travis and I most is that so many of our questions about the academic side of the CoE model were answered in the early stages, without us even having to ask. TPH has invested many resources to ensure that its student-athletes are getting an academic experience that prepares each individual so that he or will be successful in college and in life. They love answering the tough questions about academics and we are excited to put the TPH team in front of our families so they can show our market just how committed they are to the academic experience at the Center of Excellence.”

The Center of Excellence offers daily on- and off-ice training for student-athletes in grades 6-12. Participants take online classes with assistance from on-site tutors in an environment that allows the hockey players to maintain their studies while dealing with the schedule that comes along with elite youth hockey teams.

More info about the school can be found here.


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