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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Focus9 Soccer Academy for Athletic Success in Winnipeg

An Exclusive Interview by Ihor Cap for EzReklama BlogSpot
Winnipeg is home to many soccer clubs and associations, including the Focus9 Soccer Academy. Focus9 has a history of success that unlike other programs attracts a highly talented pool of motivated athletes from all across Winnipeg. What they have in common is a burning desire to boost their chances for athletic success and their coaches help facilitate this experience to fruition. It is but one example of a very special group of athletes that choose not to waste their time flailing around when they can be honing their skills with and among the very best players and coaches in the community. Their participation in the Academy enriches their lives and the fist bumps they receive from the coaches at the end of their training day are an acknowledgement of the players’ tireless efforts and commitment to the program.
EzReklama Blogspot reached out to Patrick Di Stefani, a professional coach and former player from Europe, and founder of the Focus9 Soccer Academy to get a better understanding of what Focus9 is all about and what is planned for the Academy in the upcoming year.
Photo 1: Focus9 Academy archives
EzReklama Blogspot: When did the Focus9 Academy start and why?
Patrick Di Stefani: I established Focus9 in August of 2003 upon my return from Belgium. In Belgium I was coaching Professional Football for 5 years in the Belgium Pro League. The move to Canada was for my family. After moving to Canada I quickly realized there was a need for high performance coaching for youth players and felt I could create and establish a European style Soccer (aka Football in Europe) Academy. Our Philosophy is to present junior and senior athletes the opportunity to train with and receive instruction from experienced coaches and trainers within a secure, professional environment of the highest standards designed specifically for the needs of each individual athlete. Since 2003 we’ve been training young players in the Winnipeg, MB community as well as other cities within Canada.
EzReklama Blogspot: What types of programs and services does Focus9 offer and are they only soccer specific?
Patrick Di Stefani: We provide 4 main areas of service to our clients:
i) Club Services:
a. Technical and Tactical Support
b. Strength and Conditioning
c. Coaching Support
d. Establishing a Soccer Academy with Curriculum
e. Club Audit
f. Athlete Testing Protocol.
ii) Soccer Programs:
a. Goalie Academy
b. Outfield Player Academy
c. Striker Academy
iii) Athletic Conditioning Programs:
SAQ, Strength and Conditioning, and
iv) Performance Evaluation Testing:
Optogait and Optojump Analysis System.
Photo 2: Focus9 Academy archives
EzReklama Blogspot: Do any of your program participants ever make it to any professional teams?
Patrick Di Stefani: We have had many successful athletes compete at the highest level. This includes not only Soccer but also athletes from Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball and Rowing. For soccer specifically, we have and have had players in the Belgium Football League, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Division. Most recently, Federico Pena, a pure product of Focus9 signed a Professional Contract with KAA Gent.
EzReklama Blogspot: What kind of things happen at one of your practices?
Patrick Di Stefani: Focus9 structures its practices and training sessions similarly to a Professional European Club. The intention is to create an environment where the players are challenged in every aspect of the game and are pushed to the highest standard. Our strategy is to immerse the players in the same environment that a young European player would be exposed to in their respective Country and Clubs. The sessions consist of specific technical, tactical and physical skills that players must learn in order to compete at the highest level.
EzReklama Blogspot: What does it take to become a professional soccer player/athlete?
Patrick Di Stefani: To become a professional soccer player or athlete it takes a number of varying elements, from talent, strength to speed… However, the most important aspect is always the players willingness to link all of these elements together which creates a professional player and/or athlete. EzReklama Blogspot: Can you tell us what you have planned for the upcoming year?
Patrick Di Stefani: We continue to build-up and improve our programming while striving to be the leaders in the soccer community. This summer we are delighted to have again with us Joel Crahay for a Professional week-long camp the first week of July.
EzReklama Blogspot: What one word or phrase do you want people to associate with your Academy?
Patrick Di Stefani:The ULTIMATE GOAL of our GAME is to IMPROVE YOURS“, I always say, and in a way that has also become our motto. Yes, That is what I want people to remember us by.

Photo 3: Focus9 Academy archives
EzReklama Blogspot: Anything else you would like to share?
Patrick Di Stefani: Yes. Two main sources where you can learn more about the Focus9 Soccer Academy is to visit our website at or our Facebook page at . You can email us at  or Phone us at (204) 990-4897.

Looks like it’s going to be another excellent year for Focus9. A big thank you goes out to Patrick Di Stefani for providing this interview with EzReklama Blogspot. I wish you and the Academy continued success and prosperity!
About the Author:
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and a Dad. Flag Counter

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Origins of the Name Canada

by Ihor Cap
How did Canada get its name? Most Canadians, if asked about the origins of the name “Canada”, will admittedly lament their ignorance of that part of Canadian history. Of those that do remember, they might even recall the “official” version of how Canada got its name, the one they received from the Heritage Minutes: Jacques Cartier TV commercial “A Part Of Our Heritage – Canada.” After all, Canadian history is not a subject taught in the schools, per se. Education remains in provincial jurisdiction so each region features their preferred understandings of Canada’s history. As such, there are many competing theories on how Canada came to be known and called. All of them fascinating and equally compelling, but only three theories tend to capture the hearts and minds of historians and researchers more so than the others. They are presented here momentarily.

According to Dr. Velyhors’kyj (1955), the ones that had no staying power were “Vinland” which Lief Ericson (Leifr Eiríksson in Old Norse) used when he arrived to the shores of Labrador in the year 1000 and “Cabotia” named after the Italian navigator and explorer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot in English or Jean Cabot in French) “who found new isle” – (today Newfoundland) in 1497. John Cabot’s employer, King Henry VII, recorded this venture as such in his notebook in 1498. This is almost certainly the first recording ever known to exist about this grand territory, and that only complicated and further exacerbated the historians’ searches for the true origins and meaning of the word “Canada.” Even before the passing of the British North America Act of 1867 which established Canada as a semi-independent country, over thirty some suggestions were entertained to give the country a new name, writes Velyhors’kyj (1955) in the topo- and anthroponymic series ONOMASTICA X: The Term and Name “Canada”. “Albertsland, Albionora, Borealia, Britannia, Cabotia, Colonia, Efisga (a combination of the first letters of England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Aboriginal lands), Hochelaga, Norland, Superior, Transatlantia, Tuponia (an acrostic for the United Provinces of North America), and Victoria” were among them, writes Hamilton (1978) in The Macmillan book of Canadian place names.
The Three Main Theories on the Origins and Meaning of “Canada”
Velyhors’kyj (1955) asserts that the origins and meaning of the word “Canada” still remains elusive namely because so much time has passed before researchers started to trace its origin. Nevertheless, he sums up the three main theories in these words:
I. Local origin theory.
Dauphin Map of Canada - circa 1543 -Project Gutenberg, Wikimedia Commons
The theory of local origin branches off into several minor views, depending on what language is considered in regard to the name “Canada”: (a) the language of the Indian Huron and Iroquois tribes; (b) of the Algonguins; (c) of the Montagne tribe; (d) or of the Cree Indians. Furthermore, it also depends on what was really called “Canada”. Most of the research workers are inclined to think that the name “Canada” is taken from the language of the Iroquois. The name “Canada” was used as a name for the whole of the eastern peninsula, stretching from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River up to lake Ontario; as a name for a province; for a part of a province, lying between the Island of Coudre; for both sides of the St. Lawrence River; for the St. Lawrence River; for the Montreal district, a lake, an unknown land, a town, a village, a settlement, a group of houses or wigwams, etc., or generally as a name for foreigners, or an unknown country, and so forth. (p.5)

II. European origin theory.

Canada 3 cents Jacques Cartier 1934, Wikimedia Commons
The theory of European origin branches off in two directions, conditioned by whether the research workers regard: (a) the Spanish (“aca nada”), or (b) the Portuguese language(“aqui nada”) as the language of its origin. Both phrases mean the same thing: “nothing here”, which could have been used both by the Spanish and the Portuguese sailors, after failing to find a way to the East Indies, or failing to find any gold. The natives, who heard this phrase repeated many times, might have accepted it, in its abbreviated form, as a name for their country. There are more followers of the Spanish theory.
     The so-called German theory of Dr. Burgmeister is really the Spanish theory, deriving the name “Canada” from the Spanish word “Canada” as used in Argentina.
A few French research workers try to find the origin of the name “Canada” in France. (pp.5-6)
III. Oriental origin theory.
     The followers of the oriental theory affirm that the name “Canada” was either (a) brought over from the East Indies (Davies), or that the country was named after its discovery in honour of the Hindu philosopher Kanada (Johnson). (p.6)
This article began with the general guiding question asking “How did Canada get its name?” Dr. Ivan Velyhors’kyj exhausted all the Canadian sources available in Canada to study this question. Three main theories were given overriding precedence. In the end, Dr. Velyhors’kyj leans towards the local origin theory. The Canadian Board on Geographic Names in Ottawa promised to unravel this mystery, noted Dr. Velyhors’kyj. Its successor today, the Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC) also tends to promulgate the local origin explanation.
Main Reference:
Велигорський, Іван. (1955). Назвознавство Ч.10: Слово й назва “Канада“. Вінніпеґ, Манітоба. Накладом Української Вільної Академії Наук. 1-30 . [Velyhors’kyj, Ivan. (1955). ONOMASTICA X: The Term and Name “Canada”. Winnipeg, Manitoba. Published by Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences. 1-30.]
Other References:
Hamilton, William B. (1978): The Macmillan book of Canadian place names, Macmillan of Canada, Toronto, p. 21.
Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a web author and Member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada.