Toronto, Ontario - The National Ball Hockey Association of Canada today announced the appointment of Dr. Rene Vandenboom, PhD to the High Performance Program as the High Performance Fitness Director and will work with the HP Director, Stephen Dockerty and the five Team Canada staffs and players to prepare our athletes for competition at the World Championships.
“The NBHAC has made a strong commitment to sharing the knowledge and experience of trained professionals with our players through the High Performance Program.” stated President Steve Rumsey.
This is the second year in working to develop a program that will help educate not only the 66 junior aged players that are directly involved, but also parents and adult players across the country,” said Stephen Dockerty, High Performance Director. The NBHAC see’s these professionals as ambassadors for the sport and true professionals that offer an enormous amount of experience to share through the program.”
Players will receive information five months out in preparation for the World Championships and will learn the necessary steps to support ball hockey skills through fundamental factors including appropriate nutrition, fitness, on-floor training and mental skills – the four pillars of ball hockey development identified by the NBHAC’s High Performance Program.
Throughout the months, practices, exhibition games and training camp, the team members and their families will have the opportunity to learn from our professionals and will be able to reach out for questions throughout the process.
“Each year I look forward to sharing my story and experiences throughout ball hockey career and the role that fitness played in my success,” said Rene Vandenboom. “I feel strongly about the importance of educating young players and their families about developing skill sets that will improve performance both on and off the floor and advance them to the next level in their careers and I look forward to continuing this tradition.”
“We’re proud to support and give our athletes the opportunity to work alongside industry experts to learn valuable on-floor skills in addition to off-floor life lessons – including leadership, teamwork and perseverance,” said Dockerty. “Learning from professionals early in their careers will better position these players to be successful and achieve their goals.”
About Dr. Rene Vandenboom, PhD
He began playing in the Ontario Ball Hockey Association (OBHA) in 1981 when he started in the Toronto Ball Hockey Association (TBHA). This experience included several teams in all tiers through most of the 80s. In addition to playing, however, he was always keenly interested in the fitness and exercise training side of the sport. Not coincidentally, he was a Physical Education student at the University of Western Ontario in the 80s (1984 - 1989) before moving on to do a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo (1989 - 1996). Upon graduation from Waterloo he retired from competitive ball hockey and moved to the states where he worked as a research scientist at Harvard University (1996-1998), Mayo Clinic and Foundation (1998-2001) and the University of Michigan (2001-2004).
In 2004 I was hired as a Professor by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Brock University (St. Catharines) and moved back to Canada. The year 2004 was also the year he unretired when he discovered that he had landed in a ball hockey hotspot. After a few years of playing outdoor ball hockey he was fortunate enough to become involved with the Team Canada (2007 – 2011). These experiences motivated him, along with a few others, to start the OBHA Niagara league (2008). A league he is currently the President of. In its short time, this league has been the launching point for several international careers as well as being the home league for the players of the Niagara Ironmen (2010-2011) and the Niagara Generals (2012 -2013).
Currently he is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences at Brock University where he teaches exercise physiology and exercise training in the Department of Kinesiology. In addition to his teaching duties he has a laboratory that studies biophysical aspects of muscle function including potentiation and fatigue. In his spare time he runs the Brock Bombers Ball Hockey Club, a team that plays in both indoor and outdoor leagues locally.
Rene will be available for questions after October 1 and contact information will be sent to all the players and parents.