Varsity athlete bridging cultures with interactive sports event

Brock graduate student Catriona Cormier (BSM ’23) is a passionate advocate for building community through sport.

Cormier is spearheading the organization of “Athlete Bridges: Linking Nations through Sport,” a free event designed to strengthen relationships, build community and promote healthy habits through sports by bridging the gap between varsity athletes and the wider student body, particularly international students.

Taking place Sunday, Feb. 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bob Davis Gymnasium, the event is a collaboration between Cormier, Brock Sports and Recreation, Brock International, varsity athletics and the International University Sports Federation/Fédération Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU).

“I think the power of sport is unique,” says Cormier, whose personal experience with athletics has provided her with great benefits. “I want to strengthen the bond between varsity athletes and the broader Brock community.”

Inspired by the turnout of a sold-out friendly match between the Brock women’s hockey team and the Chinese national women’s team last October, Cormier wants to give international students another opportunity to connect with Brock’s varsity athletes on campus.

The event will feature varsity athletes teaching the fundamentals of hockey, basketball, volleyball and soccer to their peers. Students will engage in interactive sports demonstrations and friendly tournament style competition.

“Attending this event with our varsity athletes will provide international students with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the campus culture, create new friendships and enjoy learning and challenging yourself through sport,” she says.

A varsity athlete at Brock since 2019, Cormier has honed her hockey skills through years of dedication, rising through the ranks of amateur leagues in her hometown of Dieppe, N.B., before earning a place on the women’s team representing the province at the 2019 Canada Games in Red Deer, Alta.

The recent Sport Management graduate is now completing her Master of Business Administration at the Goodman School of Business and is one of only two FISU student ambassadors in Canada. The global university sports aims to promote excellence, friendship and respect through sports on campuses worldwide.

Brock Sports and Recreation and Brock International look forward to the event fostering cross-cultural connections between students from all corners of the globe.

“In a world where our differences may often divide us, sport is a universal language,” says Executive Director, Brock Sports and Recreation Melissa Krist. “We are thrilled to see athletes like Catriona Cormier sharing our desire to showcase the teamwork, community and lasting bonds built through sports that go well beyond winning and losing.”

For Brock International, seeing Canadian students wanting to share experiences with their international peers underscores the significance of cultivating a global community within academic institutions.

“Through learning about traditions as simple as sports, our students, whether international or domestic, benefit from perspectives and insights that expand their global awareness,” says Koreen McCullough, Manager, International Student Supports. “Not only does an event like this promote fun experiences and personal growth, but it also promotes the mutual respect and empathy necessary for navigating our increasingly interconnected world.”

Though the event is free to attend, students must register in advance through University Tickets. Attendees are encouraged to bring a water bottle and activewear. Indoor running shoes are mandatory.

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