Here is a coach who really shouldn’t need an introduction! He’s been working at the Oval for ten years and his versatility as a trainer has provided him the opportunity to move into a number of different roles within the Richmond Olympic Oval Community. If he’s not down in the High Performance Training Centre working with youth teams or in the Personal Training Studio training private clients, he can be found taking care of business on the fitness mezzanine.

This season, Sam is working with Fusion FC and the Greater Vancouver Canadians.

Tell us about your athletic background:

I have been involved in sports since the age of 4.  It all started with soccer and swimming and over the years I have played many more. The one constant has been soccer.  I played competitively until I was 20 and had to stop because of lingering injuries.  Since dealing with my injuries I have continued playing in a rec league.

How did you get started coaching?

I got lucky.  I had been involved in Personal Training for a little over a year at the Richmond Olympic Oval when I was asked to cover a session for the high performance team.  I had wanted to work in High Performance but I never applied because I do not have my degree- which was previously a required qualification.  A fellow Personal Trainer who was also coaching in High Performance asked if I was able to cover a warm-up session for him.  Our boss gave the ‘ok’ for me not once, but twice.  That got me in the door and I have been apart of the team ever since.

What is your dream team/athlete to coach? 

I just like to work with athletes who are dedicated and want to be there.  An athlete who wants to be there will work harder, listen better and get more out of the training.  When they want to be there and are excited to be there it makes everything more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Coach or mentor you look up to?

Over the years I have worked with a lot of great coaches while being involved in High Performance at the Richmond Olympic Oval.  I have been able to watch and learn from them, taking bit and pieces of information from them and applying that to my own work.  I would have to say that my biggest mentor was my very first boss at the Richmond Oval.  His name is Wagner Rulli.  He was the head Personal Trainer at the time and gave me my start in personal training.

What do you enjoy doing outside of coaching?

I enjoy playing sports (soccer, golf, swimming), going for hikes or bike rides, working out and just relaxing.

Advice/Tips for Athletes?

Never give up.  Keep working towards your goal, whatever it may be.  Keep things exciting by trying something new.  It could be a different training program/technique, new training facility or even a new sport on the side to shake things up a little bit.  Always remember to just have fun and enjoy yourself.


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