Media releases

  • Brock Rowing names new boats after successful alumni and supporters

    MEDIA RELEASE: R00229 – 26 October 2016

    The Brock University men’s and women’s rowing teams will be competing in the OUA championships in St. Catharines Oct. 28-29, but they’ll also use the occasion to christen five new boats.

    During their annual boat christening at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Henley Island, Brock Rowing will honour three former Brock rowers, a longtime rowing supporter and a well-known Niagara fundraiser.

    A coxed four rowing shell will be named after Rob Jennings, a former Brock University rower, who graduated in 1968.

    Now living in Calgary, Jennings became the youngest director at what is now known as ScotiaMcLeod. He went on to numerous successful business enterprises, including creating Jennings Capital Inc. in 1993, which has grown to 85 employees and $40 million in revenue. The company has raised more than $3 billion for Canadian companies and entrepreneurs requiring capital to expand employment and business opportunities.

    Jennings also served as chair of the Athletes Village for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, has worked with numerous charities, and sits on a number of corporate boards. Jennings and his wife are flying in from Calgary for the christening.

    Coxed fours have previously been named after former Brock Chancellor Dr. Raymond Moriyama, longtime supporter Dr. David S. Howes and longtime professor and former Director of Athletics, Dr. Lorne Adams.

    Brock will also name two pairs after Brock rowing alumni Bob Crawford and Stan Lapinski on Saturday.

    Crawford, a Silver Badger as part of Brock’s first-ever graduating class, rowed for Brock as part of the school’s first rowing crew, which was the first sport at Brock. Crawford has been volunteering in rowing behind the scenes as part of the Cat Crew, which operates the catamarans on the rowing course — installing and removing regatta equipment and maintaining the on-water facilities.

    Lapinski, also A Silver Badger and part of that inaugural rowing crew, has coached rowing at the high school level. Lapinski is well-known as the photographer at the grandstand taking countless photos of winners on the podium at the Canadian High School Championships and Henley since the 1980s. Lapinski has also edited books on rowing at Denis Morris, the 100th anniversary pictorial history of St. Catharines Rowing Club, and the 40th anniversary of Brock Athletics. He has been an active volunteer at the St. Catharines museum for 15 years.

    Brock Rowing also had two boats donated by the Wise Guys Charity which will be named after Sue Erskine and Chuck Smith.

    Erskine has committed the past four decades to rowing. Recognizing her on a shell is appropriate for her dedication and involvement with the rowing community starting as director of St. Catharines Rowing Club in the late 1970s, President of the Rowing Club, Director and President of Canadian Henley Rowing Corporation. She also has been highly involved in many community organizations, such as YMCA, YWCA, Trillium Foundation and served the city of St. Catharines as a councillor and deputy mayor.

    Chuck Smith is best known as the founder of the Wise Guys Charity Fund, which has raised more than $2 million for area projects. The fund was launched after a successful drive to raise money to help build a new YMCA community centre in north St. Catharines. It became a registered charity in 1997 and its most prominent fundraiser is a celebrity golf tournament held every year. Money raised by the Wise Guys has supported dozens of Niagara-focused charities.
    Brock Rowing will also unveil a display recognizing the 15 Rowers that have participated in the Olympics:

    Joel Finlay – Mexico City, 1968
    Gail Cort – Montreal, 1976; Moscow, 1980; Los Angeles, 1984
    Ron Burak – Montreal, 1976
    Kathy Lichty-Boyes – Moscow, 1980; Los Angeles, 1984
    Richard Doey – Los Angeles, 1984
    Darby Berkhout – Seoul, 1988
    Terry Paul – Seoul, 1988; Barcelona, 1992; Athens, 1996; Beijing 2008; London 2012; Rio de Janeiro, 2016
    Jennifer Walinga – Seoul, 1988; Barcelona, 1992
    Matt Swick – Sydney, 2000
    Chris Taylor – Sydney, 2000
    Iain Brambell – Sydney, 2000; Athens, 2004; Beijing, 2008
    Jacqui Cook-Beattie – Athens, 2004
    Jeff Dunbrack – London, 2012
    Eric Woelfl – Rio de Janeiro, 2016
    Tim Schrijver – Rio de Janeiro, 2016

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Brock research finds children influence parents’ sport fandom

    MEDIA RELEASE: R00228 – 25 October 2016

    When it comes to sports team loyalties, families come second according to research from Brock University.

    Sport Management professors Craig Hyatt and Shannon Kerwin have been analyzing preliminary data from their research project, Understanding the intersection between fandom and parenting, and the indication is that many families are divided when it comes to the teams they support.

    “It is becoming very common to find family members cheering for different teams,” says Hyatt, and associate professor in sport management.

    “Traditionally, we think it is parents who influence their children’s fandom preferences, but what we are seeing, far more than we expected, is that children are motivated to pick teams in competition with another family member’s preferred team,” says Hyatt.

    “We are frequently hearing comments such as, it would be great if my brother’s team lost so I can give him a hard time about it,” or “my dad likes to taunt me about my team,” or “I decided to cheer for that team to annoy my mom.”

    The information being collected through Hyatt and Kerwin’s research, in collaboration with Professor Larena Hoeber and PhD student Katherine Sveinson in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies at the University of Regina, suggests that children are also impacting their parents’ fandom choices.

    “There’s growing evidence that parents are choosing which teams to cheer for based on their children’s preferences. In instances where an individual’s team is eliminated, the parent will then start supporting their child’s team because it means something to them. Cheering for this secondary team provides a parent-child bonding opportunity,” explains Hyatt.

     When asked to speculate the reasons behind this, Hyatt suggests it may be the combination of two important cultural shifts.

    “Every generation of parent seems to be more involved in spending leisure time with their children. Parents are expected to be emotionally involved and actively encourage their child’s interests. As a result, we are seeing vast majorities of parents following certain sports and teams they would otherwise have no interest in.”

    Advances in technology also put a lot of pressure on parents to keep up and stay informed.

    “With 24-hour access to sport highlights and analysis, there is nothing a fan can do better to get information than go online. In the 1970s, we cheered for local teams because that is what we had access to, but now, it is possible to cheer for any team, anytime, without ever being in the same city.”

    Hyatt and Kerwin hope to have their analysis complete later this fall with the goal of sharing their findings at the 2017 North America Society for Sport Management conference in Denver.

    The study is still looking for parents who are fans of professional sport teams and who have children between the ages of 10 and 20. Contact Professor Hyatt ( for more information.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases