Media releases

  • New coach, new era for Brock women’s basketball

    MEDIA RELEASE: R00125 – 15 June 2016

    Good basketball players, good community ambassadors. Those are the kind of young women Ashley MacSporran wants on her team.

    The Brock Badgers ushered in a new era Wednesday morning when MacSporran was introduced as the next head coach of the Badgers women’s basketball team.

    Landing a head coaching position in an Ontario University Athletics program has long been the goal for the Kitchener/Waterloo-born MacSporran, but it was Brock’s success both on the court and in the stands that drew her to the St. Catharines university.

    She said she first noticed the Badgers fans and the #WeAreReady campaign during a playoff game in Ottawa.
    “Brock was playing just after us and in rolls these waves of fans. It was awesome. You just don’t see student-based fans in Canada like that, but it’s happening at Brock. I can’t wait to be part of that,” she said.

    MacSporran played her university basketball at Laurentian before a knee injury ended her career. She moved into coaching, getting initial experience in B.C. before serving as head coach of the Concordia University College women’s team in Edmonton. She joined the Guelph Gryphons as assistant coach for two years and then moved to the University of Windsor as an assistant last season.

    She said her experience as a player helps her connect with the team.
    “I understand where the players are coming from. I can relate to them,” said MacSporran, who describes her coaching style as enthusiastic and positive. “I’ve found it easier to make calls and get the players to trust me a little bit better because I’ve been there and been through those experiences.”

    She said that while Brock’s past success is something she’ll strive for, she sees this as a new beginning for the Badgers women’s team.

    “It’s definitely a fresh start. How we represent ourselves in the community, it’s going to be all fresh and brand new,” she said. “I’ve got some great ideas to jump along with what Brock is already doing. The more you get these young women out in the community and get them involved, it just helps them excel and grow later in life. It’s not all about basketball.”

    Neil Lumsden, Director of Athletics and Recreation, said he’s looking forward to seeing the direction MacSporran takes the team.

    “One of the keys is she has worked with some of the best coaches and programs in the country and therefore has learned what it takes to lead a solid, competitive and sustainable program,” Lumsden said.

    “Based on her extensive plan that has to do with engaging our students, reaching out to alumni, and maintaining a focus on Brock University, she has basically encompassed all the elements that are required to build a championship program both on and off the court.”

    For more information or to confirm attendance:
    *  Shawn Whiteley, Co-ordinator of Sports Information, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4506
    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Road to Rio goes through Brock for Olympic wrestlers

    MEDIA ADVISORY: R00124 – 14 June 2016

    Some of the top female wrestlers in the world are training at Brock University this week in the lead-up to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

    Along with Wrestling Canada, Brock’s varsity wrestling program is hosting an eight-day training camp for women’s teams from six countries.

    Female wrestlers from Canada, the U.S., Germany, Latvia, Estonia and Finland are taking part in the training camp, which will be held at Brock’s Bob Davis Gymnasium.

    The camp is being led by Marty Calder, the head coach of the Brock Wrestling program and assistant coach of the Canadian women’s Olympic team. Workouts will be held twice a day from Tuesday, June 14 until Wednesday, June 22.

    Among the nearly 50 wrestlers taking part, most of the qualified athletes from all six countries will be here to train.

    For the Canadians, it’s one of the first opportunities to have the whole team together.

    “We’ve already done three or four camps, but it’s good to bring all of these athletes together,” Calder said.

    With Canada and the U.S. being among the top favourites to win gold medals in Rio, this camp will offer athletes the opportunity to train against the best in the world.

    “This is the chance to be around people who are striving for gold,” he said. “These kids that are coming are prepping for medals, they’re not just participants.”

    Canada has qualified to send six female wrestlers to Rio, the same number as Japan. China, Nigeria, Russia and Turkey are all sending five wrestlers each, while the U.S. and Germany are sending four each.

    The Olympic wrestling training camp is open to the media and assistant coach Marty Calder, as well as head coach Leigh Vierling, will be available for interviews.

    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