Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
MA Applied Health Sciences
Nick Beamish’s research is innovative with its focus on using sport and games to develop positive life skills for at-risk and disadvantaged youth. He has eagerly shared this knowledge with fellow students, faculty and physical education professionals. And he’s applied this knowledge in working directly with youth in Niagara and El Salvador.
Here at home, Nick has touched the lives of many disadvantaged youngsters as a program facilitator for the Niagara Resource Association for Teens. In this role, Nick went out to local neighbourhoods to connect with disadvantaged teenagers and encourage them to become involved in an after-school program.
He’s also worked tirelessly in organizing the highly successful Unity Games Niagara. The event is a partnership between Brock, the United Way and YMCA of Niagara. It brings together more than 100 disadvantaged youth from across Niagara to participate in activities that build life skills.
In the most recent Unity Games, Nick was instrumental in making it possible for children with disabilities to participate for the first time, making the event even more successful and inclusive.
On a national scale, too, Nick has led workshops to foster a great understanding of physical literacy with teachers, community practitioners, and sport leaders.
One of Nick’s proudest and most rewarding accomplishments has been as a project leader and teaching assistant for the International Experiences in Physical Education course. In 2011 and 2012, Nick planned and supervised a two-week trip to El Salvador in which undergraduate students worked with youth in developing life skills through sport and games.
In the three months leading up to the trip, Nick was instrumental in helping to prepare the students by facilitating Spanish lessons. He planned fund-raising events and an equipment drive, and he developed resources that were left with local teachers and schools in El Salvador. He enlisted Salvadorians and Canadians to support the initiative and the cause.
Brock students were visiting a country with one of the highest youth violence rates in the world. It required going beyond their comfort zone. But, Nick eased the way as trip leader. His courage and leadership came to the fore as he assisted these younger students in their work with Salvadorian youth and their shared goal to help and address issues of social justice.
Nick has a way, says his supervisor Professor Jamie Mandigo, of inspiring the best in people by putting their needs ahead of his own.