Our June Member Showcase is…Coordinator of the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) at Brock University, Cole McClean!
We learned more about Cole’s path to the CSC, what he enjoys about his role, some of his research interests, and some of his personal interests/hobbies.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to specialize in your specific line of work? Can you tell us why you wanted to join the Centre for Sport Capacity and what you’ve gotten out of being part of the Centre so far?
I was in a unique position when I took on the role as the coordinator of the Centre for Sport Capacity. I had just finished up my M.A. (Sport Management) here at Brock working with current member Dr. Shannon Kerwin. Upon completion of my degree, I was weighing next steps and decided to take on some Research Assistant (RA) roles to fill the unemployment void, as well as a chance to explore new areas and learn new skills. I knew I enjoyed research and wanted to explore a related role in the industry, rather than pursue a PhD right away. One of those RA roles was with a multi-department Experiential Education project at Brock with Dr. Julie Stevens and a few other Brock members. I actually hadn’t worked with Julie in my time at Brock, but after working with her on a couple of projects, the CSC Coordinator role opened up, it seemed like a great fit.
As for what I’ve gotten out of my first couple of years with the CSC, there is too much to cover in one post. The first aspect that stands out are the meetings with community partners. I learn a lot from each group or individual we meet with and the process of understanding their needs as well as figuring out how to support them is rewarding.
The other part is student engagement – over the past few years I feel the CSC has done a good job of providing students across various departments at Brock with valuable practical experience. We’ve really carved out some consistent roles as well so we’re always trying to offer students experiential education opportunities.
Can you speak about any recent, current, or future research projects that you’re excited about? What inspired you to want to get involved in your topic of research? Was this research work partnered with a community partner in the sports industry or any other industry?
There are a lot of projects that I am excited about in the Centre and I almost feel bad choosing only one. If I had to choose one at the moment though, it would be the 2020 U16 European Cup – Girls Hockey Participation project involving a number of national hockey federations. The purpose is to understand the issues girls playing the sport face and resulting high drop-out. In turn, the goal is to develop resources and support initiatives aimed at reducing barriers faced across particular age groups. This project is notable to me as it was the first major project I was involved in as the coordinator (Winter 2019), and while COVID-19 halted the project, progress is being made again.
What’s your favourite TV show right now?
It takes me a while to get through shows, but Billions is currently major one I’m working on. I also recently finished the Expanse, which I highly recommend as it filled the hole that Games of Thrones ending, left.
What are your current hobbies/interests? (maybe something you picked up since we’ve all been staying home!)
My healthy hobby that really got me through winter was daily walks to get away from screens and take my mind of things with a podcast or music. I never thought I’d be a person that could go for walks so often, but with the lockdowns the walks became
To try and make weekends a bit more exciting, I usually attempt a new, interesting recipe that I’ve never done before. It’s been rewarding trying dishes that I honestly never thought I’d make myself.
What’s your favourite book? (recently, or your all-time favourite)
Recently, Barack Obama’s memoir A Promised Land as I’ve followed politics to some degree, but learning what actually goes on behind the scenes and the toll it takes is really interesting.
What’s your favourite sport or sports team?
If I were to pick one, it would have to be the Toronto Raptors. I love the sport and everything the organization has come to stand for. I also enjoy reading about Masai Ujiri as a leader, how he approaches his role, and the great things he’s done for the culture of the organization.