Canada Games Research Spotlight: Corliss Bean

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

Assistant Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies Corliss Bean’s research involves working with community organizations at local and national levels to develop, implement and evaluate programming to foster youth psychosocial development. Her research interests include positive youth development, life skill development, sport psychology, program evaluation, girls and women, and coaching.

Bean is one of eight Brock researchers and scholars who received funding under the 2021-22 round of the VPR Canada Games Grant program. Here, she discusses her research project titled “Exploring Women Sport Leaders’ Journeys to the Canada Games Using Digital Storytelling.”

Please give a brief overview of your research project. 

This research project explores women sport leaders’ journeys to the Canada Games. Such a study will work to advance women in coaching in Canada and understand how to address ongoing challenges that exist within the sport system. The Canada Games is recognized as a major accomplishment for coaches. For many coaches, this may be their first time coaching at a national level. In exploring the journeys that have led women coaches to the Canada Games, it may also provide valuable insights for the next generation of coaches.

What do you expect will be the outcome of your research? 

We will be using a unique method of data collection called digital storytelling. This method will allow coaches to illustrate their personal narratives through creating videos ranging from two to five minutes. This contribution may impact future female leaders in sport by providing rich and nuanced digital stories of women’s leadership in sport. Widely sharing these stories will help facilitate sustained advancement for women in coaching and the opportunity for coaches to broaden their networks of leaders in coaching through their study participation.

How will this contribute to knowledge or understanding of the Canada Summer Games?  

This research will help to understand the barriers and facilitators women coaches have experienced on their journeys to the Canada Games.

How did you become interested in this research? 

Over the past several years, I have been involved in numerous projects in the area of girls and women in sport, and specifically coaching and mentorship. Hosting the Canada Games at Brock provides a unique funding opportunity that allowed our research team to continue to advance the field in this area. Specifically, I am collaborating with a great team of women, including Sara Kramers from the University of Ottawa and Margot Page, Head Coach of the Brock Women’s Hockey team. Together we will use our academic and applied lived experiences to guide this project. We felt that using more creative methods of data collection, including photos and videos, would be a fabulous way to approach this project.

How do you plan on sharing your research?

I am passionate about, and committed to, knowledge translation and will ensure project findings are shared in relevant and accessible ways. Digital storytelling has been described as a “ready-made knowledge translation product” and will be shared with relevant stakeholders, including researchers, practitioners and other sport stakeholders with the goal of bringing visibility to the topic. The videos will be shared via several Brock University social media platforms, including the Centre for Sport Capacity and Brock University Athletics, and will be added to Brock’s Digital Repository, to provide storied accounts of women leaders in sport and coaching, with a specific focus on leaders at the Canada Games.

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