HANNIBAL, NY – Five Swedish hockey players and their coach from the Syracuse Stampede recently visited the 8th grade Spanish classes at Kenney Middle School in Hannibal.
The team is a junior hockey team whose goal is to make sure that the players have the opportunity to earn their way to college by playing hockey.
The players and coach Mike Beavis talked about their life as hockey players as well as the importance of getting an education and the opportunities they will have in life if they set goals and work hard.
They also addressed the language requirement in Sweden that they pass English every year from second grade until they graduate.
If they don’t, they don’t move on. Two of the players are of Finnish decent and speak Finnish fluently along with Swedish and English.
One of the players is even taking college courses on line so that he doesn’t fall behind in his quest to be a doctor.
The players shared some of the cultural differences between Sweden and America as well as many of the similarities.
Students had the opportunity to eat lunch with the players and have their photo taken.
One student said that she found it interesting to have people from a different country visit the class and talk about their country.
Another found it “cool” that students get paid a monthly allowance to stay in school after ninth grade.
The visit was the highlight of the day for the students.