Okanagan Hockey School busier than ever

In its 49th year of operation, the Okanagan Hockey School (OHS) has seen consistent growth throughout the years.

In its 49th year of operation, the Okanagan Hockey School (OHS) has seen consistent growth throughout the years.

This summer, the organization has registered more than 2,100 players from around the world for their 2011 camps so far, the highest number since their inception in 1963.

Hosting a high volume of participants offers a unique set of challenges.

“Our first goal has always been and always will be the quality of our hockey programs,” said president of the Okanagan Hockey School Andy Oakes. “We set up our camps to allow for the maximum number of players possible, without compromising the high level of hockey instruction that is associated with our organization. Some of these factors include program hours, high instructor to student ratio, and daily ice time.”

Making all of this work is the responsibility of Kevin Goodwin, Senior Director of Operations.

“We have over 100 qualified full and part-time staff in Penticton this summer,” said Goodwin. “We use three separate ice surfaces to meet our ice time requirements, 10 vans to transport the players, and have over 20 programs running concurrently. Our earliest program starts at 6:45 a.m. and we don’t stop until our latest one ends at 10 p.m.”

On average, hockey participants are accompanied by two to three family members who use their time in Penticton as a holiday. The increased number of families in the Okanagan has provided OHS with the opportunity to play local host.

“To meet the needs of our visiting families, we have evolved our business into a local service provider, promoting accommodators, restaurants, spas, retail outlets and attractions that we have partnered with,” said senior director of sales and marketing Blair Noel. “This summer, we introduced a new trade show format on our registration days, which allows OHS partners to promote themselves to visiting families.”

The organization’s efforts have provided a massive economic boost to the area. Last year, OHS was recognized as the No. 1 tourism generator in the South Okanagan, contributing more than $13 million to the local economy in 2010.

In addition to their local summer camps in Penticton, OHS works with athletes in 9 other locations worldwide throughout the summer months. The Okanagan Hockey School Europe (OHSE) in hosted in St. Polten, Austria. In addition, they have partnered with the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames to operate their summer camps in their respective cities, as well as a new partnership with Hockey Canada to deliver an elite goaltender camp in Penticton.

Throughout July and August 2011, there are over 4,000 participants in OHS hockey programs with many NHL players, coaches and management working as guest instructors, including Josh Gorges, Brendan Morrison, Pat Quinn, Jeff Friesen, Chuck Kobasew, Dany Heatley, Shea Weber, Vern Fiddler, Duncan Keith, Cam Barker, Andrew Ladd, Bob Nicholson and Andy Moog.


Just Posted

princess margaret
Penticton high school has COVID-19 exposure days

Princess Margaret Secondary had potential days of exposure May 10-12

Brandon Messier of Messier’s Concrete and Landscaping has added some unique, glowing features to his front yard at 28 Huth Ave. (Submitted)
PHOTOS: Glowing boulders popping up in Penticton yards

Local landscaper Brandon Messier also brought the Lost statue to its new home

There is nothing left of a structure that burned down in rural Summerland Saturday night. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Nothing left at fire scene in Summerland

Summerland firefighters arrived when the structure was fully engulfed in flames

Penticton city parks staff were busy this week using the beach grater to sift through sand, getting the shores ready for beach season. When it comes to beach clean up they are collecting run-off debris, pulling weeds and picking up litter. (Penticton photo)
Hottest day of the year, so far, in the South Okanagan

Penticton city park staff cleaned up the beaches getting ready for the season

Discovery House executive director Jerome Abraham in front of the third building, Parkers Place, for the addiction recovery program. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Discovery House opens Parkers Place in Penticton to provide transitionary care

The addiction recovery program is now able to provide support for as long as necessary

‘COVID to COVID’ lung transplant patient says he’s grateful at a May 14, 2021, news conference in Chicago. (CP screenshot)
‘COVID to COVID’ lung transplant patient grateful

Renato Aquino became sick from COVID-19 in May 2020

Capt. Jenn Casey died in a crash just outside of Kamloops, B.C., on May 17, 2020. (CF Snowbirds)
Snowbirds to honour Capt. Casey, who died in B.C. crash, in 2021 tour

Tour will kick off in Ontario in June before heading west

This bird box at the Salmon Arm Foreshore lies broken on May 14, 2021 after someone pulled the pole out of the ground and smashed the formerly occupied nest. It was one of more than 30 that have been wrecked. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Destruction of nests, birds at Salmon Arm foreshore described as horrifying

More than 30 bird boxes made by community destroyed, just one was not occupied

Ranchero resident Cody Krabbendam proudly displays the Lifesaving Society awards he recently received for a rescuing another boy while swimming at Sicamous Beach in July 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery, scholarship for rescue at Sicamous beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

A pedestrian wearing a mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 is bundled up for the cold weather as snow falls in downtown Vancouver on Saturday, February 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Snow possible in mountain passes as cold front hits southern B.C.

Much of B.C.’s southern interior will see temperatures plunge from highs of 30 C reached over the weekend

File photo (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Overturned kayak in Kelowna creek prompts police response

Kelowna RCMP is looking to speak with anyone who may know the individual associated with the kayak

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
B.C. boy receives medal of bravery, scholarship for rescue of child at Shuswap beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

Coldstream Fire Department is on-scene Sunday, May 16, battling a fire in a Matner Lane orchard just up the hill from the firehall on Aberdeen Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Okanagan fire crew tackles orchard blaze

Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. on Matner Lane, which is just up the hill from the Coldstream firehall on Aberdeen Road

Someone or something is vandalizing birdhouses built and erected along Salmon Arm’s Foreshore Trail, much to the chagrin of a Shuswap biologist who looks after the houses. All but one of 32 along the trail are occupied. (Facebook photo)
Ongoing birdhouse vandalism rocks Shuswap trail, groups

Eight more boxes were destroyed Saturday, May 15

Most Read