SPMA experience leads alumna to Canada Games role

When Niagara welcomes the country’s next generation of elite athletes for the 2021 Canada Summer Games, Brock University will be buzzing.

Held every four years, the Games are Canada’s largest multi-sport event, and when Niagara plays host in 2021, Brock will be a central hub for the region, including holding several athletic events and serving as the athletes’ village.

As well, Brock President Gervan Fearon was appointed by the Government of Canada to sit on the board overseeing the 2021 Games, joining Brock senior official Tom Arkell on that panel.

But the connection to the marquee event doesn’t end there.

At the forefront of planning the mammoth undertaking is Brock alumna Erin Mathany (BSM ’05), who was recently named the Canada Games Council Vice-President, Marketing and Partnerships.

Armed with 10 years of experience between the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Canadian Olympic Committee, Mathany credits her success to the life-changing time spent in Brock’s Sports Management (SPMA) program.

“I enjoyed my SPMA experience because I’m passionate about sport and it gave me the opportunity to learn from a business-oriented perspective while getting invaluable hands-on experience in the industry,” she said.

“My early internships, mentorship under Professor Cheri Bradish and networking with other students exposed me to a lot of industry connections that helped me line up a job even before graduating.”

Mathany is in good company. With more than 1,000 SPMA alumni out in the workforce, many hold high-profile roles in the Canadian sports industry, including:

  • Kyle Dubas (BSM ’07), General Manager, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Corey Wray (BSM ’07), Assistant General Manager of the Toronto FC
  • Andrew Tinnish (BRLS ’99, BSM ’01), Assistant General Manager, Toronto Blue Jays

Mathany shared advice for prospective SPMA students, urging more females to enrol rather than shy away.

“Play your own game and don’t be intimidated if you don’t know all of the box scores,” she says. “I enjoyed the business of sports and that led me to pave my own path to success. You can do the same.”

Inspired to give back to Brock, Mathany frequently returns to campus and takes great pride in her role on the board with the Brock University Alumni Association.

“As a leader among the Brock alumni community, Erin is in a wonderful position to know and understand how best to tap into this community of leaders in Niagara and beyond,” said David Patterson, President and CEO of the Canada Games Council.

Mathany believes the strength of Brock’s alumni will be crucial to the Games’ success. “I look forward to engaging Brock and SPMA alumni and volunteers to help the 2021 Canada Summer Games in Niagara come to life.”

Opportunities for students to get involved in the Games will be developed by Brock and Niagara College, with internships, placements, co-op positions and jobs related to planning and hosting being made available through experiential programming.

The Games, which began in 1967, will be divided into two, one-week competitions, with Brock hosting 2,400 athletes each week. The University will also host wrestling, swimming, mountain biking and other sports competitions.

Brock will also house the Games’ provincial mission offices, transportation centre, administrative offices, polyclinic and information centre.

To learn more about how to get involved, visit canadagames.ca/2021-canada-summer-games.


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