Centre for Sport Capacity

The Centre for Sport Capacity is a hub for sport management research, student experiential learning, and practical support to sport organizations in Niagara Region and across Canada.

As a collaborative of faculty, students, colleagues from other institutions, and experts from the sport community, the Centre works to both understand and expand the capacity of sport organizations.

Knowledge mobilization is a key role of the Centre, putting research-based evidence to work, and finding practical solutions to the challenges facing sport leaders.

Webinar: COVID-19 Legal Issues Facing Sport and Recreation Organizations

Sport has not been immune from the impact of COVID-19. Looking at some of the legal issues that have arisen or may arise, Hilary Findlay, LLB, PhD will share thoughts on what you should be doing now and, in the future, to prepare for the resumption of sporting and recreation activities.

This free webinar was hosted and recorded April 30, 2020 by Brock University’s Centre for Sport Capacity.

2019 Women in Sport & Leadership Forum: Transforming Passion into Practice

This event is intended to bring together leaders in the non-profit sport sector to discuss and share triumphs and struggles on the path to developing gender equity in sport.

About the Centre for Sport Capacity

Director – Julie Stevens, PhD – Sport Management
Dr. Julie Stevens conducts research in change management, organizational capacity, and social, cultural and managerial issues in sport, specifically hockey. Dr Stevens examines change and change dynamics within sport organizations according to various organization theories, types of capacity and capacity-building strategies within several different sport contexts and organizations, as well as contemporary/historical issues in hockey with a strong emphasis upon the female game both within Canada and around the world. Dr. Stevens also teaches business communication and focuses upon professionalism, employability skills and experiential education as key learning objectives. Dr. Stevens is an advanced NCCP certified hockey coach who currently serves as an assistant coach with the women’s hockey team at Brock University. Previously, she has coached women’s hockey at the Canada Winter Games, Alberta Winter Games, Western Shield, and provincial championships in Alberta and Ontario.

Martha Barnes, PhD – Recreation and Leisure Studies
Dr. Martha L Barnes works at the Department of Recreation & Leisure Studies, Brock University. Dr. Barnes’ research focuses on understanding collaborations across sectors in community recreation and sport. Barnes explores the way in which inter-organizational relationships can facilitate and/or hinder collaboration, using a social network theory and analytical framework. Dr. Barnes also leads the Active Niagara Network (ANN), a collective of Niagara Region municipal recreation directors as well as other provincial and community group sport and recreation leaders. ANN meets throughout the year to foster discussion and collaboration related to sport and recreation initiatives throughout Niagara’s municipalities.

Jeff Boggs, PhD – Geography and Tourism
Jeff Boggs is an economic geographer whose recent work focuses on policy-relevant research related to regional economic development. He teaches courses in research design and spatial statistics.

Nicholas Burton, PhD – Sport Management
Sponsorship; Ambush marketing; Athlete endorsements and brands; Sport marketing; Business of European football (soccer); International sport business

Chris Charlebois – Sport Management
Sport event hosting, organization and management. Economic impact of sport events.

Ryan Clutterbuck – Sport Management
Dr. Clutterbuck teaches and conducts research in the areas of organizational behaviour, organizational theory (e.g., organizational capacity and capacity building), coaching, and leadership in sport development and sport for development organizations across Canada. Dr. Clutterbuck is also the head coach for the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team that will compete at the 2021 International Federation of American Football World Championships

Laura Cousens, PhD – Sport Management
Organizational and field-level change, inter-organizational relationships, relationship marketing, neo-institutional theory, networks of community sport providers, sport for development.

Michele Donnelly, PhD – Sport Management
I have three clearly defined, and often interrelated, lines of inquiry that inform both my research and teaching: 1. Social inequality (i.e., gender issues; Olympic and international sport federation policy and governance; athlete-driven sport organizations). Ongoing projects in this area focus on gender equality in the Olympic Movement and at the Olympic Games, as well as in the governance of provincial, national, and international sport organizations. In addition, I study athlete governance, particularly in emerging sports such as roller derby. 2. Alternative sports and subcultures (i.e., roller derby, skateboarding). Ongoing projects in this area focus on girls and women onlyness, and particularly the organization and production of girls and women onlyness in sport and physical activity organizations such as girls-only skateboarding groups. 3. Qualitative research methods (i.e., research ethics, politics of research). I not only use qualitative methods in my research, I also study research ethics and the politics of research with respect to qualitative methods. And, I serve on the university’s Social Sciences Research Ethics Board. I am a co-founder, and now serve on the Advisory Board of the Girls on Track Foundation whose mission is “To foster important life skills in girls, through participation in roller derby as skaters and decision makers”.

Hilary Findlay, PhD – Sport Management
Legal issues in sport; Regulation of sport; Athlete agreements; Doping; Dispute and Dispute Resolution; Discrimination; Violence in Sport; Discrimination/human rights; International Regulation of Sport.

Paul Jurbala, PhD – Sport Management
Organizational change and change management; National, Provincial and Community Sport Organizations.

Shannon Kerwin, PhD – Sport Management
Dr. Kerwin teaches and conducts research in the areas of organizational behaviour and human resource management in sport. Specifically, Dr. Kerwin has looked at how personal and organizational values align to enhance important organizational outcomes, the role of conflict in the effectiveness of volunteer boards of directors, and how leadership is developed and fostered within the context of team/organizational culture. She completed her Bachelor of Sport Management at Brock University in 2004 and has taught in the US at the University of Florida for 2 years. She also volunteers at local small scale sport events and has coached her 7 year old daughter’s youth soccer team for two seasons.

Michael Naraine, PhD – Sport Management
Dr. Naraine’s research is primarily concentrated on the digital frontier of the sport industry. He is an expert in the strategic management and marketing of digital products and services, including (but not limited to) social, analytics, Wi-Fi, blockchain, and eSports. Additionally, Dr. Naraine has secondary research that extends to interorganizational networks and contemporary issues in organizational theory (e.g., isomorphism, change). He is a research fellow of the North American Society for Sport Management, and has consulted for various professional and amateur sport organizations in Canada, Australia, and India, such as the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Australian Olympic Committee, and the Geelong Cats Football Club.

Pat Reid, PhD – Sport Management
Patrick Reid has an unique combination of 40 years of sport management experience and a current (2018) PhD. Having formerly lectured at the U of Ottawa and the U of Alberta, I am pleased to be at Brock as part of their industry leading sport management faculty and program, to provide to students both theoretical and practical information from my experience. My research interests include organizational behavior, change, and ethics; high performance coaching; governance of mixed martial arts; and the history of women’s elite hockey.

Kyle Rich, PhD – Recreation and Leisure Studies
Kyle is an assistant professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. He teaches courses on the intersection recreation and leisure with sociology, health, community, and administration. His research focuses on social inclusion/exclusion, community development, and rural communities. Kyle is also a Certified Personal Trainer (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology) and an Instructor Trainer for the Canadian Red Cross and the Lifesaving Society.

Kirsty Spence, PhD – Sport Management
Leadership; Leadership Development; Executive Coaching (in Sport Management

2019 Women in Sport & Leadership Forum: Transforming Passion into Practice

This event is intended to bring together leaders in the non-profit sport sector to discuss and share triumphs and struggles on the path to developing gender equity in sport. The time for change is now: In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced a target to achieve gender equity in sport at every level by 2035, and committed $30 million to support these efforts. There is an appetite within the industry for movement on gender equity initiatives. However, progressive change often falls on the shoulders of one or two key stakeholders in any given club.

The purpose of this event is to bring together sport management scholars and industry practitioners to discuss the real issues faced when sport organizations create and operationalization gender equity plans. Further, the event provides an opportunity to forge networks of like-minded individuals who will champion gender equity initiatives and create a working plan to help promote gender equity initiatives taking place in the Niagara Region and beyond.

Just as the capacity for sport organizations varies, so do the challenges facing them. Through the expertise at the Centre we understand there are some common themes and similarities. The video below expands on our perspectives.

Challenges facing sport organizations

Research News


Centre Director

Julie Stevens
Associate Professor
Office: STH 442
905 688 5550 x4668

Centre Coordinator

Cole McClean
Office: WH 138
905 688 5550 x5586

Office hours vary. Please call or email for more information.


Colleen Patterson
Marketing and Communications Officer
Office: STH 436
905 688 5550 x5342

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