Introducing Bob Pond, Athletic Therapist here at Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton. Bob has worked with Okanagan Hockey Group since 2016, after graduating from Minot State University, with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training and a concentration in Business Management. Bob is a crucial member of our team, providing a high level of care to all athletes and supporting their well-being.
Each one of our Athletic Therapists undergo continuing education and pass board exams, ensuring their qualifications are current and significant to the continually evolving industry of sport. They complete their yearly recertification in basic life support training, building on an extensive knowledge base through experience and education. Our Athletic Therapists here at OHA provide for our athletes during emergency scenarios, rehabilitation, and emergency assessment.
Bob’s passion stems from his experiences as an athlete, as he strives to provide services to our athletes that were not available to him growing up. He knows that if he had the education back then, that he does today, he could have prevented a variety of injuries that he suffered from. “As an athlete I dealt with various injuries, many were long term and not managed accordingly. This provided setbacks and were very difficult to deal with as a young athlete. When I made the decision not to pursue hockey beyond college, I wanted to shift my focus and support other athletes to succeed within the sport by educating them and helping them”, says Bob.
Bob was accepted into his Master’s program last September in 2020 at The University of British Columbia. He is completing his Masters of Rehabilitation Science, expanding his education and qualifications to become further established as a young professional. Each day Bob is learning more efficient ways to find relevant research while also learning how to evaluate and apply research to his practice. “I am learning more about patient focused decision making models and shared decision making as a team. I am studying ways to empower my athletes to be a part of the decision making process, and be actively involved in the rehab process”, Bob explains. “The more you can inspire an athlete to be an active member, the more likely it is to be successful in aiding their return.”
Our Athletic Therapists work in collaboration with our Strength and Conditioning team, delivering education on nutrition, equipment fitting and preventative injury. This includes educational sessions on concussions, tissue healing and rest & recovery. They provide our student athletes with the tools they need to succeed, such as hip health sessions to increase hip mobility and strengthening for the surrounding muscles. “This is a very common injury within the sport of hockey”, Bob states, “and the more we focus on injury prevention, while working in conjunction with our Strength & Conditioning department, this allows for an easy transition for when the athlete is returning to sport. We want to ensure that there are no limitations.”
Our student athletes use the program ‘Kinduct’; a Human Performance Platform helping athletic, medical, and tactical organizations optimize time, health, and performance (Kinduct.com). This is available to them through the app, allowing our athletes to have access to this programming 24/7. This is an exceptional program, especially during a pandemic when we have various restrictions in place. Our student athletes do not miss out since they always have access at their fingers tip, even from home.
OHA fosters youth within sport and hockey, and we have many professionals who contribute to the development process. Our Athletic Therapists alongside our Coaches are leaders for the upcoming generation, and their experiences are used as critical teaching tools for youth within our facilities. “When working with teenagers, they don’t always understand the ‘risk vs. reward’ in some situations. I am trying my best to utilize my education and experiences to help them learn, so that they have this knowledge for future scenarios” states Bob.
Bob expresses his gratitude toward his Coaches and Professors who have supported him as a student athlete over the years— “I had a lot of great Coaches throughout the sport, and also had various supportive Professors who allowed me to focus on hockey while completing my degree, which was timely and demanding. I truly looked up to our Head Athletic Trainer when I was on the men’s hockey team in university… she played a huge part in my career choices.”
Our Athletic Therapists are here to help our athletes be successful and achieve their goals. They look forward to working through this process as a team, with the goal of helping each individual recover and return to play—a practice that is extremely rewarding.
Bob is seen as a positive inspiration to everyone around him, which is what he strives towards each day when he comes to work. “During the pandemic, there hasn’t been a lot of positivity in the world. I want to be supportive and maintain the positive outlook; I want to inspire our youth and change somebody’s day.” He expresses how fortunate he is to work with a great leader like Heather Perrin, Manager of Athletic Therapy and Medical Services along with many other inspiring co-workers. “We have a lot of great leaders who have accomplished a lot throughout their professional careers, and I aspire to be like them”, Bob states. “I allow for every day to be an opportunity to learn something new, and my job permits for me to do exactly that.”
Since joining our team, Bob has positively impacted many student athletes within both sport and their day-to-day lives, through his experiential advice and support. His attention to detail, passion about hockey & dedication to his education are only a few reasons why he is a crucial member of our team here at OHA. We are so thankful to have Bob as a role mode; educating and inspiring youth & reminding them that rest and recovery is just as important as training.
Written by: Michayla Fraser (BSM)
Joining Okanagan Hockey Academy was the best decision I made to advance my hockey development. I grew as a person and as a player thanks to our amazing coaches. My education was held to a very high standard by our education advisor and tutors. I also met people who will be lifelong friends."