Partnership with Indigenous Games means valuable experience for Brock students

Dozens of students from Brock University’s Major Games Field Course will get some valuable in-the-field experience this summer at a major sporting event being held in Ontario.

The Department of Sport Management announced Wednesday it was partnering with the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games to provide more than 60 students with the opportunity to volunteer and receive course credit at the Games in July.

“The Major Games Field Course is being offered to Sport Management and Indigenous students at Brock to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom, while making a valuable contribution to the success of the games,” says Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Dean Peter Tiidus.

The North American Indigenous Games is the largest continental sporting and cultural gathering of Indigenous peoples. The eight-day event from July 16-23 will be attended by more than 5,000 athletes and 2,000 volunteers, along with spectators and dignitaries from across North America.

“The Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games will provide a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a spectacular showcase of Indigenous culture, all while inspiring the next generation of Indigenous athletes through the celebration of sport achievement,” says Marcia Trudeau-Bomberry, CEO of the Toronto 2017 Host Society, and a Brock alumna. “We’re thrilled to be joined by students of the Brock University Sport Management program to deliver a best-in-class sporting and cultural experience for participants and spectators of the Toronto 2017 NAIG.”

Department of Sport Management Associate Professor Laura Cousens said students in the half-credit Major Games Field Course will be able to volunteer “in a variety of different roles and to work in a team situation under the supervision of both paid staff of the Games and volunteers responsible for co-ordinating specific areas of the Games.”

Brock SPMA student Nichole Davey, Elder in Residence Carol Jacobs, Toronto 2017 NAIG CEO Marcia Trudeau-Bomberry, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Peter Tiidus and SPMA Associate Professor Laura Cousens.

Students will have the opportunity to apply and improve their managerial, communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills in a high-pressure environment.

While much of the work for this course takes place outside of the classroom, students are provided with regular in-class seminars and workshops prior to the Games.

“The in-class training is designed to prepare students for their upcoming roles,” says Cousens. “This year we are offering event and project management, games hosting skills for a multi-sport event, problem-solving, cultural competency training and an introduction to Indigenous people in sport in Canada.”

This is the fourth time the Department of Sport Management has partnered with a major games course to offer this course.

Past games have included the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Ontario Winter Games in 2014 in Muskoka and the Ontario Summer Games in 2014 in Windsor.

“The event hosting experience students gain by participating in a major games in this capacity have resulted in full-time jobs for graduates,” Cousens says.

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