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Sport Academies in Schools: Examining Their Rise in Popularity

Douglas Leong, David Chorney


This paper looks at the increasing number school sports academies in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. An examination of the informa-tion available via literature and public school websites shows that the number of school sports academies grew from two schools in 2005 to 30 schools in 2018. There are 12 sport specializations offered across the 30 schools, with ice hockey available at 22 of the schools. This growth in the number of school sports academies can be traced back to the Province of Alberta’s Alternative Programs policy, which allows school districts to develop local courses that cater to the needs of their students, and the principle of opening the boundaries between school boards and schools throughout the province. The opening of the boundaries has al-lowed students and their parents to choose where they want to attend school anywhere in Alberta (student mobility), including the option of a school that offers a school sports academy program as an alternative to the regular physical education program. 

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sport school; sport academy; student mobility; physical literacy; physical activity; physical education

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