Bob Vandersluis, A Chatham-Kent Athlete Who Came baCK

Chatham-Kent sends athletes across Ontario, Canada, and the globe each year to compete athletically. Sponsored by baCK to Chatham-Kent, we’ll be featuring local athletes who have left Chatham-Kent, and are now baCK, living, working, and staying connected to our own vibrant sports community in CK.

This week, we feature Chatham’s Bob Vandersluis. A former NCAA and professional hockey player, Bob Vandersluis has been coaching and living in Chatham-Kent following his playing career. He also founded, owns, and currently runs Peak Athletic Training, which is one of Chatham-Kent’s top athletic training facilities. Here are Bob’s responses to our baCK to Chatham-Kent athletes interview:

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Chatham.

2. What is your favourite Chatham-Kent pastime?

My favorite Chatham-Kent past time is spending time at our family cottage in Rondeau, and golfing at one of our many wonderful golf courses.

3. What did you do after high school?

After high school I received a full scholarship to play NCAA Division I hockey at Colgate University. After my NCAA career concluded, I played one season in The Netherlands in the Dutch Elite Hockey League for the Nijmegen Tigers. After my brief stint in Europe, I enrolled in Teacher’s College at the University of Windsor and continued my hockey career by playing for the Aylmer Blues. I was fortunate enough to be on a very good team, that went to the Allen Cup in St. George, BC.

4. What are you doing now?

Currently I am a teacher and own and operate Peak Athletic Training.

5. What has made you happiest, or been the best surprise about moving baCK to Chatham-Kent?

The best part about Chatham Kent are the relationships you make in the sport community. We have a very storied history of amazing athletes who have come from here, but the best part about sports in this community is the bonds you make to last a lifetime. Being an educator in a small community has also been a great blessing. I love seeing students and former students in the community who remind that connection is important, when they go out of their way to approach me and say hi.

6. What would you tell someone who is considering living in Chatham-Kent?

For someone who is considering moving here,I would say that chatham is a passionately supportive community. This is true for sports, those in need, and charitable work. I love being a part of a place where so many people selflessly give back.

7. Why did you choose to move baCK to Chatham-Kent?

I chose to move back to Chatham to be close to my family, and because it is a great place to raise a family. I also enjoy the small town mentality, but close proximity to big city amenities in Detroit, London, and Toronto. I also wanted to have the opportunity to teach and coach in the city that supported me through my academic and athletic careers.

8.Describe your current sports involvement?

Currently I am spending a lot of my time coaching my kids sports teams, and doing what I truly love, coaching fitness and sports performance at Peak Athletic Training.

I spend a lot of time at the gym working on my own strength and conditioning as well, and also play some rec baseball and hockey. My goal is to always be able to keep up with my busy children.

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