About Us

Our Story

Hockey Fans In Training® (Hockey FITTM) was established in 2014 as a Canadian solution for addressing worldwide increases in obesity and chronic disease. The program was built on our foundational work on prescriptive exercise and healthy eating (Healthesteps®), a signature program of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Canadian Diabetes Strategy in 2013. Hockey FITTM began with at-risk male hockey fans and was designed to help them lose weight, increase their physical activity, and eat better. It now engages both women and men to build a healthier lifestyle through healthy eating, physical activity, nature, and much more! Participants in the Hockey FITTM program are provided with the tools and resources to achieve a healthy weight and maintain positive health behaviours during the program and beyond.


When you think of Canada, you think of two things: 1) we apologize a lot (sorry for that!); and 2) we love HOCKEY! Hockey FITTM capitalizes on the idea that hockey can lead to positive behaviour changes off the ice too. The results from our pilot research indicated potential effectiveness of Hockey FIT for weight loss, reduced blood pressure, and improved self-rated health (among other health outcomes).

As of October 2022, over 1,000 eligible individuals have joined Hockey FITTM, 153 Hockey FIT coaches have been trained, and over 80 community partners (local hockey teams, YMCAs, and other fitness facilities) have collaborated with us to deliver Hockey FITTM in their local communities!

“Hockey FIT is a game-changer since it plays to what men want, where and how they want to address overweight and obesity; through the power of being a sports fan.”
Dr. Rob Petrella, Principal Investigator & General Manager of Hockey FIT

Who Are We?

Our Hockey FITTM Research Team is led by Principal Investigator and General Manager, Dr. Rob Petrella, Professor and Head (Chair) of the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where he is also Director of UBC Sport and Exercise Medicine in the Chan Gunn Pavilion and Professor of Kinesiology in the Faculty of Education at UBC. Dr. Petrella is also Professor Emeritus in the Department of Family Medicine, Professor in the School of Kinesiology, Scientist with the Bone and Joint Institute at Western University, and a Scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario;  he is a Scientist at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute in Vancouver BC.  

Our Hockey FITTM core research team is made up of researchers and program staff with a range of expertise from sports management to epidemiologists measuring the behaviour changes we see in participants. Check out the hockey cards below for the inside scoop on our research team.

Full Roster

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