Two Brock profs to hold high positions in Pan Am games

Nota Klentrou will be working at the Pan Am Games this summer, ensuring all gymnastics scores are entered properly into the scoring system.

Nota Klentrou will be working at the Pan Am Games this summer, ensuring all gymnastics scores are entered properly into the scoring system.

Brock University professors Nota Klentrou and Brian Roy are gearing up for their major roles in the upcoming Pan Am games.

Kinesiology professor Klentrou, who is also associate dean in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, assumes the position of “Venue Results Manager” for all gymnastics competitions, to be held at the Ricoh Coliseum in the Exhibition Centre, Toronto.

Klentrou will oversee the scoring and results functions that involve several groups of people: technical delegates from the International Gymnastics Federation and the Pan American Gymnastics Union; judges; the information technology team, Atos; and volunteers.

“Volunteers sit next to the judges in each apparatus and compile all the judges’ scores,” she says. “I have to go through the scores and make sure that they make sense. Then I get approval from the technical delegation, oversee the printing of results and communicate the scores with announcer, the broadcasting crew and media.”

Klentrou explains that gymnastics scores fall within a specific range. If judges or volunteers make a mistake – say, recording a score as being 0.3 instead of 6.3, resulting in a cumulative score that falls outside of the range – Klentrou has to catch that mistake, “otherwise we’re all in trouble and there’s a lot of panic with the coaches, athletes and so on.” She adds that her job is not to evaluate the judges’ scores but to ensure that scores are entered properly.

Competitions, which run simultaneously, may involve up to 10 volunteers and 20 judges each, plus the ATOS team, the IT services company that will be providing timing, scoring and results services at the Pan Am Games.

“It’s a multitasking position because there are lots of scores coming in,” she says. “I will have up to six different screens on one computer, where I watch what is happening in each apparatus, and many people to manage.

“It’s a particularly intense position that requires strong communication and diplomacy skills and a good understanding of the scoring rules of each of the four gymnastics disciplines: Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics; Trampoline; and Rhythmic Gymnastics.”

But Klentrou is up for the challenge, having had the same position during the 2004 Olympics, held in Athens. “So, having the experience of a much larger scale competition, I don’t find Pan Am Games necessarily stressful.”

Brian Roy will be helping out with kayak and canoe events at the Pan Am Games this summer.

Brian Roy will be helping out with kayak and canoe events at the Pan Am Games this summer.

Meanwhile, kinesiology professor Brian Roy is preparing for his spot on the Field of Play Crew. He and his team will ensure that the canoe/kayak sprint course at the Welland International Flatwater Centre, located on the Welland Recreational Canal, is set up properly and maintained.

The team is also responsible for the athletes’ safety and ensuring equipment is working properly and safely. Roy and his colleagues will be in boats travelling alongside the athletes.

“So, basically if there are any issues on the water, we are the ones who respond and deal with it,” he says.

He says that the games will include one- and two-person canoes and one-, two- and four-person kayaks.

Roy is also up for the task, having had the same role at the 2013 World Junior Championships with Canoe Niagara, which involved some 500 athletes.

Both Roy and Klentrou note that their Pan Am positions tie into their research.

“I’m an exercise physiologist,” says Roy. “My research generally applies to athletes’ training. So it’s nice to be right there and to see them on the water, using some of the research we do in an applied way.”

“My research is how we motivate youth to be active and participate in sports and activities,’ says Klentrou. “That’s why I’m in youth sports. In gymnastics, I deal with young athletes; I care about the experience they have there. I feel like I’m contributing to the sport, the province and to the Pan Am Games themselves.”

Klentrou is keen to see as many spectators as possible. “I think that everyone needs to go out and watch the games. Participate in any way you can and buy tickets. We’re bringing the world to our province so we should feel proud and excited about it.”

The 2015 Pan Am Games (, headquartered in Toronto, will see close to 7,000 athletes from Latin America, South America, the Caribbean and North America perform in 36 sports from July 10 to 26 in municipalities from Oshawa to Welland, with the Para Pan Am Games taking place from Aug. 7 to 15.

The Pan Am Games are the world’s third largest international multi-sport games.

Read more stories in: Gallery, News
Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,