NOTE: This is the latest in a series of Q&A stories featuring Brock University faculty members who are integrating the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games into their research projects. For more information on Brock’s academic activities around the Games, visit brocku.ca/canada-games
Kyle Rich is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. He is interested in how community, policy, and social inclusion/exclusion shape experiences in sport, recreation, and physical activity programs, especially in rural and remote municipalities. In his research, he uses community-based and participatory methods to work with community organizers to understand and address local issues, in efforts to improve community health and well-being.
Rich is one of 11 Brock researchers and scholars who received funding under the 2020-21 round of the VPR Canada Games Grant program. His project is a collaborative effort with Associate Professors of Recreation and Leisure Studies Erin Sharpe and Martha Barnes, as well as Carol Phillips, Research Co-ordinator at Brock’s Niagara Community Observatory.
Here, Rich discusses the project.
Please give a brief overview of your research project
We are interested in understanding municipal collaboration in the process of hosting an event with a regional hosting model (like the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games).
What do you expect will be the outcome of your research?
We are increasingly seeing bids for multisport events from multiple cities or entire regions. Our project will help us better understand how networks of stakeholders and their capacity impacts the way municipalities are (and aren’t) able to work together through the hosting process.
How will this contribute to knowledge or understanding of the Canada Summer Games?
Niagara 2022 is an interesting case study, since it is being hosted by the whole region (i.e., 12 municipalities). Therefore, we have an interesting opportunity to understand how regional policy and politics might shape the hosting process.
How did you become interested in this research?
My own research has looked at events in rural communities, and my colleagues have expertise in networks, municipal policy and organizational capacity. This project is a really fun opportunity to bring us all together on an interdisciplinary project that will make an important contribution.
How do you plan on sharing your research?
We plan to publish our findings in an academic journal and also to write a policy brief that will be published and publicized through the Niagara Community Observatory.