Brock profs share insights at sport summit

Experts from Brock’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences spearheaded a panel discussion on girls in sport at the Sport for Life Summit held in Ottawa last month.

In keeping with the Jan. 26 summit’s theme, “Everyone Belongs,” the panellists shared practical insights into ways sport can be structured to provide quality and inclusive sport experiences for girls in girls-only sport space and youth sport in general.

Brock researchers Michele Donnelly, Assistant Professor of Sport Management, Shannon Kerwin, Associate Professor of Sport Management and Graduate Program Director, and Corliss Bean, Assistant Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies and Director of the Centre for Healthy Youth Development through Sport, were joined on the panel by industry leaders Dana Bookman, Founder and CEO of Canadian Girls Baseball, and Ainka Jess, Founder and CEO of She’s4Sports.

Building off the findings of work supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Engage Grant, which is funded by the Government of Canada, the group discussed how facilitating intentional pathways into leadership positions for girl athletes and providing girls access to positive role models in sport are important elements of quality sport experiences.

Members of Parliament Chris Bittle, from St. Catharines, and Vance Badawey, from Niagara Centre, said they were pleased to see the funding creating new opportunities for women in sports.

“Positive role models in sport who create a safe and welcoming environment are more important than ever. Whether it is as athletes, trainers, coaches or executives, young women and girls deserve to see women in leadership roles in the sports they love,” said Bittle. “This federally funded research from Brock University is an important step in improving the experience of women in sports.”

Badawey said the investment is important not just for the University, but for the research community across Canada.

“Investments like this one through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council are important not only for the Brock University research community, but nationwide,” he said. ”Researchers like Drs. Corliss Bean, Michele Donnelly and Shannon Kerwin will contribute to important work on women’s sports that can be applied not only here in Niagara but throughout our country.”

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