Athletic therapy & training staff

No athlete is a finished project, and no player is built in a day. At OHA, our coaches bring an unparalleled level of expertise to their coaching duties each day. Their tremendous experience as both players and coaches at the Major Junior, College, and Professional levels allows them to build the student athlete in an incremental manner, focusing on the small details that separate elite players from the rest – both on the ice, and off. 

Each athlete brings a unique skillset to the rink, and our coaches work to develop that particular player within the team concept. OHA’s coaches also share an incredible passion not only for player development, but for personal development as well.

 Staff_-_Dave_Zarn.gifDave Zarn
Head of Athletic Therapy

Zarn worked previously with OHA from 2003 – 2006 as an athletic therapist before moving on to the Victoria Salmon Kings. Following his time in Victoria, Dave joined the Vancouver Canucks where he has spent the last 13 years of his career. Dave received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Manitoba before earning his certification in Athletic Therapy from the University of Winnipeg in 2001. Dave’s training and professional experience will be invaluable in keeping our student-athletes healthy and ready to compete during the season.

 Untitled_design_4.gifRachel Cunningham
Head of Strength & Conditioning

Rachel Cunningham boasts an impressive resume, with experience in kinesiology and personal training. She has worked in private gyms and physiotherapy clinics, and from 2009-2013, Rachel was part of Okanagan Hockey Camps program. Rachel attended the University of Southern Maine, where she played Varsity Ice Hockey. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in fitness, nutrition, and rehabilitation to the OHA team.

Untitled_design_17.gifDesiree Koggel
Athletic Therapist

Desiree Koggel graduated with a High Honours Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences in Athletic Therapy from Sheridan College in 2018. Since graduating she has worked in a variety of sports including provincial and semi-professional football, AAA and Jr. A hockey, major series and provincial lacrosse, club and collegiate rugby, field hockey and soccer as well as professional curling. Most recently, Koggel has spent her time in multidisciplinary clinics while working with AAA GTHL and Jr. A hockey teams. In 2019 Koggel was a part of the medical staff for the GTHL Blue, who won the OHL Gold Cup. Koggel is a Certified Athletic Therapist (Canada), Certified Athletic Trainer (U.S.), and a Level 1 Barefoot Training Specialist.

mark-fitzgerald.pngLarissa Gemer
Athletic Therapist

Larissa graduated from the University of British Columbia, School of Kinesiology before moving to Ontario to complete an Honours Bachelors of Applied Heath Sciences in Athletic Therapy from Sheridan College. Gemer began interning with high school hockey and football programs in in Wisconsin in 2008 and has continued working with various sports such as hockey, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, and basketball at levels ranging from youth to university since moving to Canada. She has worked multiple seasons with both UBC’s and Toronto Metropolitan University’s Varsity Hockey teams. Larissa is a Certified Athletic Therapist in Canada and Certified Athletic Trainer in the USA.

Bryce.gifBryce Twible
Sport Science Lead

Twible graduated from the Human Kinetics program at UBC – Okanagan. During his time at UBC, he spent a year as the Assistant Athletic Therapist of the Kelowna Rockets. After graduation, Twible worked in the field of Sport Science performing force and bio-mechanical analysis. He has experience working with a range of athletes in the NHL, CHL and on the Canadian Alpine Ski Team. He is currently working towards completing his Master’s Degree in Sport Science. Twible joined OHA in September 2020.

Untitled_design_5.gifCole Sarafinchan
Strength & Conditioning Coach 

Cole Sarafinchan is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s Human Kinetics program, where he specialized in Clinical Exercise Physiology and Psychology.  Cole also enjoyed a long and successful minor hockey career, and looks forward to sharing his extensive knowledge of weight training with the student-athletes at Okanagan Hockey Penticton.

Dr_Connolly_Crop.jpgTrevor Connolly
Team Physician 

Connolly is an emergency physician at Penticton Regional Hospital. He was the recipient of the Resident Research Award in 2003 and the Alice Grant Memorial Award in Family Medicine in June 2002. Connolly obtained his Doctor of Medicine with Great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan.

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We have over 50 years of experience.

Playing at OHA was great. I had great billet families and made great relationships with people I still keep in touch with. It was a really good learning experience for me being away from home playing hockey, which set me up to go play junior.