Blog

  • Emma Fedorchuk: Starting a Role With the CSC

    Emma Fedorchuk is a fourth-year Media and Communication Studies student at Brock University. She is interning with the Centre for Sport Capacity this Fall and Winter as our Marketing and Communications Assistant.

    Hello, my name is Emma Fedorchuk! I was recently brought on board with the Centre for Sport Capacity as a Marketing and Communications Intern and will be working with the Centre until April. I am currently in my last year at Brock as I work to complete my degree in Media and Communication Studies and am really trying to get the most I possibly can out of my final year. I am currently enrolled in a course titled “Internship in Communication, Popular Culture, or Film” (COMM 4F00), which allowed me to get involved in a part-time placement related to my field of study. The class gave us a list of placement opportunities and the CSC as well as the Brock-Canada Games positions immediately caught my eye. My interest and love for sport, paired with the tasks that both placements planned to assign to interns (social media upkeep, website management, marketing, event support, etc.) made me extremely excited for both roles. I worked on my resume and cover letters with Anneka Bosse, the coordinator for the course, and after multiple weeks of implementing various changes, I finally sent them off. After conducting the interviews, I realized that the Centre for Sport Capacity internship would probably be a better fit for my skill set, and happily, I was offered the position and eagerly accepted.

    Although I am now a retired athlete, sport still holds an irreplaceable space in my heart and I am forever indebted to the lessons that these games have taught me. Whether it was hockey, soccer, rowing, or badminton, I was always excited to pack up my bags and head off to a practice, a game, a race, or a match, not only because that meant I got to play the sport I loved, but because I got to be a part of the various communities that surround these games. In the past, I have worked and volunteered in various sport-related positions, whether that be reffing 5-year-olds on the soccer field or coaching young girls in development hockey camps, so I was very excited to get involved with the CSC to further my sports involvement, and to put the skills that I have accumulated through my schooling to the test in a workplace setting.

    I am lucky enough to have also secured a position with the Niagara River Lions as a Journalism Intern, which will provide me with even more insight about working in the world of sport. In this position, I am responsible for interviewing coaches, players, partners, etc., and developing, writing, and editing articles for the team website. Already this position has exposed me to the inner workings of a sport organization and continues to demonstrate how sport isn’t just about what happens out on the court/field/ice/water etc., rather, it is overwhelmingly about bringing communities together and giving them something to cheer about.

    There are many reasons why working with the CSC peaked my interest: their impressive list of research projects, the fantastic forums and webinars that they host, and their focus on knowledge mobilization, just to name a few. But I was especially excited about the fact that the CSC is still a relatively new organization who have only just begun to establish their brand. Joining the team at such an early stage, and being able to bring the ideas I have to the open ears and minds of the CSC team, has already energized me and motivated me to want to work diligently within the organization. In turn, I am very eager to help come up with new ideas that will showcase all of the amazing things that the Centre has to offer.

    I believe that the contemporary perspective I have surrounding social media and marketing will be helpful to the Centre, and will aid in making the content that the CSC produces more accessible for a larger audience to consume, participate in, and enjoy. As a member of Generation Z, it is no surprise that social media is a part of my day-to-day life, as my daily usage report on my phone will attest to. In my days of scrolling through the multitude of platforms that the individuals in Silicon Valley have so carefully crafted to keep my attention, I have been exposed to not only the various emerging trends that seem to pop up on a daily basis, but also to the dos and don’ts of implementing and maintaining a brand image that will be effective in engaging a specific audience. I think that I’ll be able to provide the CSC with a fresh set of eyes when it comes to getting our message out to our community.

    During my time with the Centre, I hope to learn more about the inner workings of the CSC organizational culture and build professional relationships with various members of the Centre. I am excited to marry the theoretical that I have learned in an educational setting, to the practical that is hands-on work experience itself. I am confident that this work experience will be extremely helpful to the improvement of my hard and soft skills, and will help me expand my knowledge of the unlimited potential that working in sport has to offer. I am extremely excited to have been brought on board and can’t wait to get the ball rolling with some fantastic content!

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    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Interview with Corliss Bean, Ph.D. – Pivoting Youth Sport and Recreation Programming in the Wake of COVID-19

    We sat down with Corliss Bean, Ph.D., Assistant Professor within the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, and member of the Centre for Sport Capacity. Dr. Bean will be a panelist alongside Harry Bell of Canadian Jumpstart Charities and Erin Graybiel of the YMCA of Niagara in our upcoming webinar, “Pivoting Youth Sport and Recreation Programming in the Wake of COVID-19: Recommendations and Resources,” that will be held on Wednesday November 25th, from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm on Lifesize.

    In our interview, we talked about the challenges that youth sport and recreation programming are facing amidst COVID-19, and what the webinar has in store for attendees.

    For those unaware but interested in attending the webinar, could you provide a brief description of the challenges youth sport and recreation programming have been dealing with as we live amongst COVID-19?

    The global outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in closure of gyms, arenas, pools, dance and fitness studios, parks and playgrounds. Many youth are therefore not able to actively participate in their regular recreation activities outside of their homes. Under such conditions, many youth tend to be less physically active, have longer screen time, and also experience poorer mental health effects in the face of isolation from normal life compared to pre-COVID-19 times. Youth-serving organizations are working to engage youth through virtual sport and recreation programming. Such online offerings can serve to increase access to programs, activities, and program staff that would otherwise be inaccessible. However, this comes with its own challenges related to access to digital technologies

    What does youth sport and recreation programming during COVID-19 truly look like in practice?

    Tune into the webinar to find out! There are a lot of creative and engaging ways to engage youth through sport and recreation programming during COVID-19 both indoors and outdoors. Both Erin and Happy will share some great tips and resources that practitioners can use and applying within their own programming.

    What is the webinar going to be like for the average participant? 

    The webinar will share three perspectives from individuals who have diverse roles and experiences in the youth sport and recreation sectors. This webinar aims to provide recommendations and resources for all stakeholders that can help with program planning, implementation, and evaluation. This webinar will include three guests who will discuss lessons learned, best practices, and supports available to the sector during a time of uncertainty.

    If I have questions will I be able to address those at the webinar?

    Yes! There will be multiple opportunities throughout the webinar ask questions.

    Can I contact the webinar speakers after the event?

    Yes, the webinar panelists will provide their email addresses and links to their websites and social media platforms in case webinar attendees want to get in touch following the webinar.

     

    For those interested in attending the webinar on November 25th from 1:00 – 2:30 pm (ET) on Lifesize, you can register by clicking here.

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    Categories: Blog, Webinars/Forums

  • Interview with Dr. Shannon Kerwin – The Same Game Model

    We recently sat down and spoke with Dr. Shannon Kerwin, an Associate Professor of Sport Management here at Brock and a member of the Centre for Sport Capacity. Dr. Kerwin is hosting our upcoming webinar, “Understanding Same Game: The Self-Guided Gender Equity Toolkit” that will be held on September 30th, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

    In our interview, we had a chance to speak with Dr. Kerwin about the Same Game Model, and what the webinar has in store for those who choose to attend.

    For those unaware but interested in coming to the webinar, could you provide a short, personal description of the Same Game model?

    “Same Game is a resource for sport organizations that has been developed by Canadian Women & Sport (with support from Women and Gender Equality), pilot tested in sport clubs, and adapted based on systematic research to ensure it is effective in providing tools that will help sport managers move towards club and organization relevant opportunities for girls and women in sport; on and off the field of play.”

    Why is Same Game and this webinar important?

    “Research shows that sport organizations want to move towards equitable places for participants, coaches, officials, staff, and board members; However, sport managers lack the capacity to create sustainable change on their own. The webinar will provide an overview of Same Game to introduce the steps involved and the key pieces to engaging stakeholders organizational and club commitment in a movement towards gender equity. Same Game recognizes that change can not occur on the back of one person, and therefore collective action must be taken. The webinar will highlight these key pieces of Same Game.

    I am proud to have been involved in the evaluation and update of Same Game. Equity is an important topic for sport managers and Same Game provides a valid resource to setting the stage for effective change towards more inclusive sport contexts in Canada.”

    What does the Same Game model truly look like in practice?

    “Same Game is an online resource that is a step by step process to help facilitate initiatives towards gender equity. The steps emphasize visioning, board and stakeholder commitment, communication and evaluation of what works and what doesn’t work. The essential piece to Same Game is embedding gender equity into policy and practice; Moving beyond one person and taking collective action. Same Game provides a tested and effective platform to do so.”

    What is the webinar going to be like for the average participant?

    “The webinar will be a chance to take in information regarding Same Game from the creators (Canadian Women & Sport) and myself. Participants will also have a chance to post questions to the team of presenters, and follow-up with the presenters after the webinar for more information.”

    If I have questions will I be able to address those at the webinar?

    “There will be an opportunity to ask questions. Due to time, all questions may not be answered within the webinar space; However, follow-up will occur between the presenters and those asking questions.”

    The webinar, “Understanding Same Game: The Self-Guided Gender Equity Toolkit”, will be held on September 30th, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Spots are limited, so those who are interested in attending are encouraged to reserve their spot now by clicking here.

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    Categories: Blog, Webinars/Forums

  • Matthew Kapogines: Starting a New Role With the CSC

     

    Matthew Kapogines is a fourth year Sport Management student at Brock University. He previously worked with the Centre last Fall as Assistant Coordinator. He has returned this year to be our Webinar Coordinator.

    I initially learned about the Centre through SPMA 3P02, an experiential learning Sport Management course that provides students with practical work experience via placements in the Sport sector. I was given a list of available placement opportunities and the position of Assistant Coordinator with the CSC immediately caught my attention. 

     

    As a direct result of this placement, I built up the confidence this summer to reach out to Centre Director Dr. Julie Stevens and inquire about any experiential positions that might be available this fall with the CSC. After several conversations, Dr. Stevens found she needed a Webinar Coordinator to assist with the Centre’s marketing and communication initiatives and agreed to supervise me in this placement.   

    As Webinar Coordinator, I will be responsible for developing and launching the CSC’s new webinar series by organizing multiple webinars this fall. This new series will support the Centre in achieving its mission of providing practical support to sport organizations in the Niagara Region, across Canada, and abroad.

    This opportunity with the CSC will be incredibly helpful as I hope to pursue a career in event planning and management after I graduate, so the chance to help organize some professional webinars for the first time is invaluable to me. I am also looking forward to building and strengthening my professional relationships with the members of the CSC through the webinars, as members will be able to use the webinars as a time to showcase some of their research and share their knowledge with community members and sport organizations.

    I hope to put my organizational, research and communication skills that I gained in my previous work placement to good use in this position with the CSC. I also plan to use my past experiences and unique perspective to generate new and original ideas that could make the Centre’s webinars more interactive, enticing and engaging. I hope to support our members in crafting webinars in a way that will allow participants to more easily acquire new knowledge by making them more interactive and inclusive.

    All in all, I am incredibly excited to start working with the CSC and to expand my event planning skills, and my knowledge of the Sport sector.

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    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Catherine Beech: My CSC Summer Experience

    Catherine Beech is a fourth year Sport Management student at Brock University with a Minor in Tourism. Having worked with the Centre previously, this summer, she worked with us as a Research Assistant – Data Analyst. Funding support for her position was provided by the Match of Minds Program.

    This summer I had the opportunity to work with the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) here at Brock University. Having the chance to work within my industry, expanding my knowledge on pertinent topics within sport was unlike anything I could have imagined. 

    Through my work with the CSC I was able to work with local industry partners on projects that simultaneously allowed me to learn new skills and network with industry professionals in event, research, and sponsorship fields. 

    In my role as a Research Assistant I worked on event impact research to address what types of impact from sport events are of the highest importance to industry stakeholders and what metrics stakeholders currently use to track event impact. 

    This opportunity allowed me to see everything that goes into conducting research and experience the process first-hand. I am happy to report that my contribution to this project will help Sport Travel enhance their client experience and exist as a credible resource for their company’s use.

    While working I was introduced to Brent Barootes, the CEO and founder of Partnership Group. Working with Partnership Group, I was able to gain valuable experience in the sponsorship sector – you never know where saying “yes” can take you! 

    My projects with Partnership Group included a competitive analysis scan and an inventory asset valuation for the company. This project challenged me to conduct a lot of self-directed research in an area that I was not familiar with. Although the task appeared intimidating in the beginning, I am happy to have completed the project and learned a lot along the way.

    I also worked as a data analyst for the Niagara Sport Database alongside an amazing group of co-workers during the initial phases of the company’s launch. My role was primarily to communicate with club volunteers to acquire data and then input it correctly before analyzing the results and sending it off to my co-worker for the development of a report. This experience was educating/insightful from beginning to end as I was able to connect with co-workers from all different areas of expertise and learn from them every day. I am proud to say that the process of transforming raw data into meaningful visualizations required the knowledge of programs including: PowerBi, ArcGIS, Python, and Excel which I self-learned with the help of my co-workers. Not only was I able to build on my existing quantitative analysis skills, but I also developed a basic understanding of these programs as a new skill which I can add to my resume and transfer to any job opportunity that I have in the future.

    Above any individual project that I worked on this summer, the biggest takeaway for myself was having self-directed work. Working with the CSC this summer I intended to be in office however, due to unprecedented times I worked from home making communication more challenging than normal. I had to balance many projects at the same time and although I had project check-ins with my supervisor Cole McClean, day-to-day work was completely under my own discretion and what I felt I needed to do. Being in charge of my own work required the ability to assess project timelines and shuffle projects around as necessary. In addition, it forced me to be self-reliant as much as possible and problem solve when issues came my way.

    I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to work with the CSC this summer and proud of all of the work I contributed to during my time. The insight that I gained through my work with Sport Travel, The Niagara Sport Database, and Partnership Group was a great stepping-stone to bigger things for my future. The connections that I made with professionals in the industry would not have happened without the CSC and I am humbled to have worked alongside them for even a short time. I encourage everyone to look into the CSC at Brock University and explore what opportunities they may have for you. As for myself, I plan to continue my work with NSD this fall, building on the great progress that we have made this summer!

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    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Noah Nickel: My Time with the CSC

    Noah Nickel is a fourth year Political Science student at Brock University with a Minor in Canadian Studies. He worked with the Centre for Sport Capacity this summer as our Communications and Marketing Assistant for his co-op work term.

    What an…interesting summer this has been (to say the least).

    As a full time student during the fall and winter, I’ve grown accustomed to seasonal full time employment in the spring and summer. But nothing could have prepared me for what this year had in store. However, despite the fact that the pandemic made the job search this summer so much harder for all of us students, to have been able to find an opportunity as personally fulfilling and enriching as I did is truly a blessing.

    Working as the Communications and Marketing Assistant for the Centre for Sport Capacity this summer was a unique experience for me in a variety of ways. For starters, anyone that knows me knows that sports aren’t my forte. Additionally, as a Political Science major, working for a Sport Management research centre wasn’t something I ever expected I would do. But in the end, it turned out to be a better fit than I could have imagined.

    The work that I was able to do with the CSC this summer was all work I have had previous experience in, albeit in a slightly different form. 

    Having worked for some larger research centres and other organizations in the past, the work I did was more laid out for me and procedural; Based on best practices that they had established over several years. Given that the CSC is a newer research centre, I was tasked in part with developing some of these practices and doing some of this foundational work for the first time alongside my bosses, Centre Director Dr. Julie Stevens and Centre Coordinator Cole McClean

    This degree of freedom and responsibility entrusted in me has been really empowering, as I feel that the work that I did will have an impact on the course and direction of the CSC going into the future, well beyond the length of my four month contract. 

    One such project was the creation of the Centre’s website. Having been a page on the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences website since their launch, things had been in motion by the time I started with the CSC to create their own fully fledged website with the help of Marketing and Communications

    My job was to compile all of the content that was to be included on the website and lay out how we would want it to be displayed on the site. I then sent it to Marketing and Communications to build it out in WordPress. Following a series of revisions with Marketing and Communications, as well as taking on some of that work in WordPress myself, we officially launched the website on August 6th. 

    I am incredibly proud of the work I did to create this website. I’m also impressed by the large-scale collaboration that took place between myself, Dr. Stevens, McClean, and the Marketing and Communications team. We were able to work so effectively together that we saw this project virtually from start to finish over the course of just two months.

    I also did some work more closely involved with Dr. Stevens’ research project, the Niagara Sport Database (NSD). I was able to design for her a logo for the project, as well as a variety of other assets to use on projects, reports, letterheads, and elsewhere. 

    I also designed the NSD project template that will be used on an ongoing basis for their economic impact reports that Dr. Stevens will be creating for sport organizations and clubs. These projects demonstrate the positive economic impact that sport clubs have on the regional economy here in Niagara. Having played a role in supporting that endeavour is something I am quite proud of.

    Lastly, I was also put in charge of developing the CSC’s social media presence. During my time with the CSC, we have created a Twitter account, developed a social media strategy to be used for the next 12 months, and began using social media management website HootSuite to effectively schedule posts across their social media platforms and to track analytics to improve their posting and content development strategy on an ongoing basis. While this work is truly in its infancy in terms of its implementation, I do believe that I have laid out an effective roadmap for the future success of the CSC on social media.

    While this only scratches the surface of the work that we did this summer, I think it illustrates perfectly just how valuable and unique this experience was for my personal and professional development. For that, I want to wish Dr. Stevens, McClean, and the entire CSC team well as they continue to grow and begin to take on more exciting projects in the future.

    I would also like to encourage everyone to consider going out of your comfort zone the next time you  find yourself looking for work. Having put myself out there and taken on this opportunity that I originally thought was completely outside of my wheelhouse, I was able to personally and professionally grow in a way that I didn’t expect going into this “interesting” summer, and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

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    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Launching their Website: An Exciting Step for the CSC

    On Thursday, August 6th, the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) launched their brand new website, unveiling it to their members, staff and faculty at Brock, and the general public for the first time.

    By all accounts the launch was a success. After months of hard work, the CSC was able to see their vision come to life, and they were incredibly happy to share it with the world.

    “I believe that the website both highlights and contributes to our commitment as a Centre to research & knowledge mobilization, student experiential learning, and practical support to community and industry organizations,” said Centre Director Dr. Julie Stevens regarding the site.

    “I’m extremely excited to see the website launch! It’s been a long wait and a lot of work to get the full site built out,” said Centre Coordinator Cole McClean. “Everyone involved, including our dedicated members and students, did a fantastic job.”

    The CSC sees the website as a key element to their success and continued growth in the long-term.

    “We needed more of a presence online…We can do so much more in terms of building awareness for the CSC in the community, and this website will let us do that,” said McClean. “If we want to grow and be successful long-term, we have to be able to promote what we are doing to a wider audience. Increasing our online presence was a necessity in order to do that.”

    They expect to be able to grow very soon and they plan to do so at a rapid rate. Something Dr. Stevens notes is that the website is designed with this in mind.

    “Due to the nature of the work that we do, the site will not be a museum,” said Dr. Stevens. “It’s designed in a way to accommodate our continued growth, as we will be able to build out the site with content on a regular basis to highlight new members, new projects, new events, and more. With that said, be sure to check back often for updates.”

    Last and most importantly, Dr. Stevens and McClean both wanted to thank everyone involved in making the CSC the success that it is today, and who will help it to continue to grow going forward.

    “I wish to thank a small but mighty team who worked hard to bring this project to fruition – it has required over a year of time and energy,” said Dr. Stevens. “Thank you to Cole for leading this project and working with members, students and staff to coordinate all the parts needed to get this done. Thank you to Sean Maddeaux and T.J. Paul, SPMA 3P02 placement students for the help they provided with early planning, and to Noah Nickel, our CSC Communication and Marketing Assistant for running with the project and getting the content and logistics finalized. I am also grateful to Dean Tiidus for his financial support, and thank you to Colleen for her encouragement to promote the CSC and our members.” 

    “We’re not a centre without our members, and we really want to highlight all of the interesting research and projects that they are working on,” said McClean. “And I cannot forget all of the amazing students that have done placements or volunteered with us.”

    McClean also wanted to thank Dr. Peter Tiidus, Dr. Nota Klentrou, Colleen Patterson, and the entire team at Marketing and Communications for their support along the way.

    For those who have not yet seen the new website for themselves, please explore the site by clicking here.

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    Categories: Blog, Other