Our Staff

Shiaz Virjee
Shiaz Virjee Head Coach, Technical Director

Coaching Expertise: Current – 2018 Coach of Canadian Women’s U21 team. With the enviable record of most wins and highly successful Canadian Men’s Team coach over 7 years, Shiaz was Head Coach at Olympic & World Cup, achieving the best ever finish for Canadian men at World Cup in 8th place. During his success laden years as national coach, Shiaz coached at many international events including Pan Am Games (Gold & Silver medal), Commonwealth Games, Gold Cup Australia – 1st Place, World XI Coach. Shiaz resigned as coach of University of British Columbia Men’s Team after 13 years in 2015, having won league and playoff titles for several years and then coached the Vancouver Hawks women’s Premier and Division 1 teams for two years. Shiaz has conducted coaching courses in over dozen countries around the world on behalf of FIH. He is the only Canadian coach to have coached another national team in international competition – Coached Belarus Women’s National Team (ranked 18th) in Champions Challenge and European Cup Championships.

Qualifications Held: World Academy of Sport Certified Trainer, FIH High Performance Coach, NCCP Level 4 Certified

Playing Experience: Played at National Level in Kenya and more recently enjoying recreational hockey when possible.

Get to Know the Coach: When not coaching hockey, Shiaz loves to travel and play golf or at least follow the ball on the golf course!

Andrew Schouten
Andrew Schouten Head Coach, Tour Director

Coaching Expertise: Polar Bears Head Coach since 2012 and Polar Bears Assistant Coach and Academy Coach since 2006. Andrew managed the Men’s National Team for 3 years. The events included the World Cup (Delhi, India – 2010), Commonwealth Games (Delhi, India – 2011) Pan-American Games (Guadalajara, Mexico – 2011) Champions Challenge (South Africa) and numerous other training and competition tours. Current coaches at Crofton House High School and has led the Senior Team to 4 AA Provincial Championships. Andrew is a former Provincial BC Coach and Vancouver Hawks Club Coach.

Qualifications Held: NCCP Level 3

Playing Experience: Andrew is a former Provincial BC Senior Athlete and also played at the University of British Columbia while earning his bachelor’s degree.

Get to Know the Coach: When Andrew is not on the field coaching or planning training or tours, he enjoys racing triathlons, playing ice hockey, boating and fishing. Andrew spends his free time working on new business ideas or relaxing on the ocean during the summer months.

Steph Gardiner
Steph GardinerCoach

Coaching Expertise: Polar Bears U14 US National Festival Head Coach, Polar Bears Academy, University of Maine Summer Camp Coach, Vancouver Hawks Club Coach

Qualifications Held: NCCP Level 1 Certified

Playing Experience: Canadian Women’s National Team Member (2012-2014), University of Maine Full-Ride Scholarship (2008-2012), Vancouver Hawks Premier

Get to know the coach: I love spending my time on the Sunshine Coast or at the movies!

David Carter
David CarterCoach

Coaching Expertise: Polar Bears Goalkeeper Coach & years of coaching young goalkeepers improve their technical game.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts from UBC

Playing Experience: Current goalkeeper for the Canadian Men’s National Team (96 Caps), FIH World Cup (2010), Commonwealth Games (2010, 2014), Pan-American Games Silver (2010), Pan-American Cup Gold (2009), BC Provincial Player, UBC Varsity Athlete

Get to Know the Coach: When not training or on tour, likes to spend his time playing guitar.

Arif Virjee
Arif VirjeeCoach

Coaching experience:

  • Polar Bears Field Hockey (2014-present)
  • Won the U15 club championships and U16 junior league
  • Roskill Eden Div. 1 women in Auckland, New Zealand when I was playing club hockey there (2014-2016) – undefeated regular season in 2016
  • coached the Crofton House Senior 2 team for 3 years (2017-2019)
  • Coached the U18, U12 girls and U14 boys at Club Egara (Barcelona, Spain) while playing for Egara (2016-2017)
  • FIH Level 1 coach

Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts from UBC

Playing experience:

  • UBC Thunderbirds
  • Canadian U21 and Senior National Team
  • Club Egara (Spain)
  • Roskill-Eden (Auckland)
  • WASPS (Perth)

Get to Know the Coach: Keen sports fan and enjoys playing golf.

John Smythe
John SmytheCoach
Qualifications: NCCP Level 1 Certified
Oliver Scholfield
Oliver ScholfieldCoach
Qualifications: NCCP Level 1 Certified
Hamish Love
Hamish LoveCoach
Qualifications: NCCP Level 1 Certified
Making quality players

Recent Testimonials

Choosing to move our daughter from the local program to Polar Bears Field Hockey was the best decision we made in regards to her development as a player.  Competition level and the speed of the game at this level pushed players to grow.  Dedicated and knowledgeable coaching from Shiaz and Arif allowed our daughter to develop her skills which has now led her to achieve her goal of attending an NCAA Div 1 school in the fall of 2022.  Shiaz’s experience in dealing with post-secondary schools was pivotal in the decision making process.  A big thanks to Shiaz, Arif and the Polar Bears Program!

Colleen & Taka – Parents of Taylor Katsube, NCAA Div. 1 committed - Class of 2022

Polar Bears have exceptional coaches who are not only professional, but care about their players. Their expertise in coaching brings out the best in players, as they are supportive as well as encouraging through every step of the way. Russem got the opportunity to play varsity level field hockey because she was able to be apart of such an amazing environment that allowed her to develop her skills to the best of her abilities.

Kuljit & Parminder Gill - Parents of Russem Thind, York University Class of 2021

As parents it was important we did our due diligence when selecting a field hockey program for both our daughters.

Our criteria was simple, a program which helps them to develop their field hockey skills but moreover a program where the coaches are positive, supportive, respectful and knowledgeable.  Polar Bears not only met this criteria but exceeded them.  Both of our daughters appreciated how genuinely committed the coaches were to their individual development and the valuable insight and feedback provided to them.

With the support and guidance from Head Coach Shiaz Virjee our daughter was able to receive a scholarship with an NCAA Division 1 university for September 2021.

We would not hesitate recommending Polar Bears to others.

Jas and Harjeet Purewal, Parents of Savina Purewal - St. Louis University class of 2021
Top-notch coaching, great trips and tournaments, and a fun atmosphere to boot. Not only did Polar Bears help Julia acquire the skills to be a strong field hockey player, they gave her a love for the game. And when it came time to help Julia navigate the university recruitment process, Shiaz and Stephanie were there to provide great advice.
Andrea Townson , Mother of Julia Ross - 2019 U18 Polar Bears

Shiaz and Arif absolutely live for field hockey! Their passion for the game is endless and a lifetime of experience is truly evident on and off the field. Their love for the game creates a dynamic atmosphere and the players are always fully engaged.

Shiaz’s insight with the post-secondary recruitment process over the last few years has been instrumental in guiding us through the process of our daughter’s field hockey career. He was with us step by step and it made things so much easier for us. We are so happy to be part of the Polar Bears Family.

Kim & Sinder Gill – Parents of Avani Gill #16, University of Maine 2021