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In the Off-Season: Health and Hockey

Glenn Stanford is the Chief Operating Officer for the St. John’s Ice Caps, but he’s also a lifelong athlete who has watched the sport change over the last 15 years.

From the St. John’s Maple Leafs and the Idaho Steelheads, to the Hamilton Bulldogs and the St. John’s IceCaps, Glenn Stanford has helped teams bring home big trophies like the Calder and Kelly Cups. He’s also received a slew of awards himself, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for significant contributions to Canada, and he is one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs.

Physiotherapists and co-owners of ProActive, Chris Cluett and Justin Whittle, had a chat with Glenn about his history, his commitment to wellness, and, of course, hockey.

Hometown Hero

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JUSTIN

We consider you to be a real hometown hero with more than 25 years working in the American Hockey League (AHL). The first big question for you is: with the AHL leaving St. John’s, what’s next in your career?  

GLENN

"Well, I’ve got some decisions to make. I’ve had a great career in hockey, I managed Memorial Stadium and Mile One, and I’m going to be 60 in August, so I don’t know if I want to pack up and move again."

 

Health and Wellness

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CHRIS

Aside from being involved with sports on a management level, you’ve also been a lifelong athlete yourself. You’re a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer, Basketball, and Hockey Halls of Fame! So, how do you stay healthy these days?

GLENN

"As you get older, you really have to work at staying healthy. I loved playing sports in my 30s and 40s, and today I still play squash three to four times a week, and do weight training every morning. I walk and try to eat the right meals, which can be a challenge when you’re travelling."

On the Road Again

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JUSTIN

That can be a real challenge, so let’s talk about nutrition. How do you and the team eat well on the road?

GLENN

"Well, my wife Debbie is a great cook, so eating well at home is easy. But once you get into travel, you have to try to not eat out, and eat the right foods at the right times. Eating well is a more serious effort when travelling.

"Also, the sport has changed a lot in the last 10 to 15 years regarding nutrition. Now teams have nutritionists on staff. Right now, we feed our players breakfast, lunch, and after a game to make sure they’re getting the right food."

Workplace Wellness

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CHRIS

That must carry over to your staff too?

GLENN
"Absolutely. One of the first things we did was get memberships to fitness clubs for all the staff, and we do fitness challenges at work. It’s a big desk job, and if you have a game, you’re not getting home until 11pm, so we encourage staff to stay active as much as possible, even by getting out for a walk at lunch.

"When people see your players working it certainly has an impact. And it’s not only food. It’s the whole lifestyle; it’s the sleep.

"It’s better to have healthy and vibrant employees, and employers and employees have to be involved in that. It’s tough to find that balance, but you have to try to find it.” 

Hockey Town

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JUSTIN

So what’s next for hockey in St. John’s?

GLENN

"We’re looking into teams right now: Quebec Major Junior, and others. I think this town is a good hockey town. I believe if it’s marketed properly, and if it’s priced properly, it can be successful. Junior hockey works well in Halifax, Nova Scotia and in London, Ontario with all the above factors at play."  

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CHRIS

Thanks for the peek behind the ice, Glenn, and thanks for your time.  

If you’d like to receive more sports and wellness news as well as personal stories like this one right in your inbox, sign up for our newsletter. And get in touch if you or someone you know has a need for sport therapy!

 

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About the author:

Justin has a passion for physiotherapy, which is why he partnered to create ProActive Physiotherapy. He’s since taken on a business role, but still likes to work with patients on a regular basis.


 

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