Snipe Academy is having a big impact within the London hockey community, as numerous athletes are training at the top-notch facility. A big part of Snipe’s success is due to its collection of high-quality coaches. Here’s a glimpse at just two of those instructors …
Growing up in a small rural town in Alberta, Cassidy Martin started her hockey career at age 11. After just two years of hockey experience, she made her town’s Peewee boys competitive team. After her family moved to Calgary, Martin captained her Midget AAA team. She was offered an academic scholarship to St. Thomas University, and she competed in the CIS for four years, serving as an assistant captain beginning in her second season.
Following university, where she completed a degree in Psychology and Sociology, she returned home to Alberta and coached with the Minor Midget AAA boys program for the Southside Athletic club in Edmonton. And she focused on earning coaching certificates.
“I still have a love for the game,” Martin says, “and I want to be a mentor for London’s hockey community.”
She’s getting that opportunity at Snipe Academy, which she describes as a community.
“We’re so fortunate and lucky to coach the best minor hockey kids in London and surrounding areas,” says Martin, adding that she enjoys meeting hockey families. “Our coaches all genuinely care about each player that comes through our doors. And I pride myself on teaching good habits and developing hockey players.”
Martin says she believes that Snipe offers training at the highest level, and she would have loved to have had the opportunity to train at the facility when she was growing up.
“I don’t think I would have left,” Martin says. “Snipe also brings a sense of fun and playfulness to hockey. I’m definitely proud to say that I’m a coach at the Academy.”
Kalley Armstrong enjoyed a very successful U.S. collegiate hockey career, playing four years at Harvard University, serving as captain in her senior season – when the team advanced to the NCAA National Championship finals.
Returning to Ontario, Armstrong served as an assistant coach for Western University’s women’s hockey team during the 2016-17 season, helping lead the Mustangs to a strong year on the ice. In 2018, she coached Team Ontario at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.
Now, besides serving as an instructor at Snipe Academy, she coaches – alongside Cassidy Martin – the Novice Devilettes girls hockey team. At Snipe, Armstrong says she has enjoyed meeting so many great players and parents.
“It has helped make London feel more like home,” says Armstrong, who is still fairly new to the city. “Snipe really is a community, and it’s one that I’m lucky to be part of.”
Armstrong says her passion is developing young female hockey players and helping them achieve their goals. Seeing their progress is a fun experience for the coach, as is witnessing their confidence grow.
“I always remember the coaches that had a huge influence on me, so it’s great to have the chance to give back to the game and try to positively impact young players,” Armstrong says.
And how would Snipe have changed her life had she had access to the Academy as a youngster?
“I would have been there every chance I could, to practice my shot, or work on the little things you don’t always have time for at practice. I know it would have built my confidence on the ice, without a doubt.”
Contributions by Cassidy Martin and Kalley Armstrong for Snipe Academy