Changing Youth Sport and Physical Literacy
Dark Horse Athletic
Dark Horse Athletic
now runs programs in three locations including:
*full details and registration form below!
...and an exclusive program at:
Dark Horse is a multi-sport program for kids aged 7 to 14. Through specific drills, games and challenges, kids develop running technique, balance, footwork, core strength, coordination and so much more. It's fun, it's challenging,
it's always changing...
In simple terms, we put a priority on:
A huge percentage of kids quit organized sport every year because it's too serious; it's too much about wins and losses. In our view, if it's not fun, it defeats the purpose of why you want kids involved, so it's our first priority.
Successful people know failure is a part of the learning process. It's not something to be ashamed of - it's how you get better. We intentionally set up our program with very little head to head competition. Instead we encourage kids to challenge themselves to learn and get better. We've had tremendous success with kids who believed they didn't like competition, or even sports!
We have some great coaches and we teach certain skills that kids don't usually come in contact with, such as correct running technique. Most importantly though, because physical literacy is the goal, we keep it fun, we keep it challenging and we keep changing it up!
DARK HORSE WINTER SESSION:
Registration is OPEN!
To register, download this form, fill it out and send it to us at
Please Note: no 's' at the end of "athletic"
Calgary Academy (exclusive program):
Where: Calgary Academy, multi-purpose room
When: Wednesdays, January 15 - March 18
Time: 3:15 - 4:30 PM
Cost: $288.75 (includes GST)
Over 50% SOLD OUT
in first 48 hours!
Where: Webber Academy
1515 93 Street SW
When: M, W, Th from Jan. 6
through March 19, excl. Feb. 17, March 11/12
Time: 7:15 - 8:30 PM
Cost: $288.75 (includes GST)
or $540.75 for 2 x /week
VIVO for Healthier Generations
11950 Country Village Link NE
Tuesdays from Jan. 7
through March 10
5:15 - 6:15 PM
$231 (includes GST)
Dark Horse is for ages 7 - 14
Dark Horse 2 (ages 11+) runs concurrently with Dark Horse 1
coaches will always customize the program to best fit the participants, however dH2 tends to involve more challenging activities
MKin, University of Calgary
World and Olympic Champion, skeleton
"Youth sport is about personal
growth and fun. Dark Horse
is about promoting both."
Canadian Development Team, Skeleton
BHPE - Physical Literacy, Mount Royal University
“Exposure to multiple activities positively impacts a child’s physical literacy journey and also encourages them to choose sport and recreation as they progress through life.”
BPE, BEd University of Alberta
Pandas Field Hockey Player
Physical Education Teacher
“Life is fed by movement. I am passionate about providing a variety of movement opportunities for kids that are fun and give them the confidence to be lifelong movers!"
BHPE - Physical Literacy,
Mount Royal University
Multisport background with a focus in basketball.
"If kids have a reason not to be active,
it should never be that it's not fun."
Team Canada, Heptathlon
"We can learn a lot from kids; their ability to laugh, smile, and play without inhibition. I want to continue to teach kids how to find the FUN in fundamentals as they try new sports, learn about their abilities and realize nothing is impossible. "
Team Alberta, Speed Skating
"I love giving kids the opportunity to be creative and teaching them to enjoy sport for its own sake, for the rest of their lives."
"Our son has been in Dark Horse for awhile now and we have been so impressed from day one. When he started, he was unsure if he would belong in this program. He loves sports but is often overlooked or has not been given the opportunity to get better. From the first day at Dark Horse, he felt at home and his confidence has grown. This program is not just about athletic ability. This program teaches the kids all the best life lessons: work hard, challenge yourself, be kind to others and have fun while doing it. The fact that they develop better physical literacy at the same time is an added bonus. Every session includes a motivational lesson as well. I could not have asked for anything more. We are so grateful to Duff and the whole Dark Horse team."
- Kathleen H. 2019
"It is our first time with Dark Horse and I wanted to say how impressed I was by your program. I have 2 boys registered and they are 18 months apart and complete opposites. My younger son, who feels he is not good at sports because he is always comparing himself to his older, athletic brother, was picked to lead the warm up. At the end he was recognized by one of the coaches and he turned to look back at me to see if I had heard. I had. I was so happy for him. Thank you so much for fostering the love of exercise in children." - Karyn S. 2018
"Our kids say Dark Horse is a “fun multi-sport program.” As parents we think it’s much more than that. We have noticed our kids developing both as athletes and individuals. Dark Horse doesn’t teach kids to “win”, it teaches them to try new sports, compete with character, embrace a challenge, and to do their personal best every time. The Olympic-level coaches teach kids the fundamentals of sport and serve as role models who help the kids develop as young leaders. As athletes, we have noticed improvement in our son and daughter’s speed, acceleration and sportsmanship on the ball diamond and on the ice. Dark Horse provides the athletic foundation for kids to excel in sport and in life."
- Greg and Lynn G. 2019
“Two fundamental misses that I see with youth sport these days are that players specialize way too young and coaches forget that if it’s not fun, then ultimately players just won’t stick with it. I’ve known Duff Gibson for a number of years now and he is a great communicator of values and principles that allow athletes to both succeed on the playing surface while having fun and most importantly, growing as individuals.”
- Jim Peplinski, Former Captain Calgary Flames
Need more information? Call or send us an email.