Blog

  • April Member Showcase – Dr. Hilary Findlay

    Background

    A number of years into a career in physical education I realized it wasn’t the vehicle to realize my broader goals. I returned to university to study law at the University of Alberta and began practicing with a mid sized law firm. I came to see I could start using my legal skills to help sport organizations become more aware of their legal rights and obligations. It was a time before ‘sport law’ was a thing, nevertheless I teamed up with another professional, to build a legal and consulting firm – the Centre for Sport and Law, as it was then called, and which today continues to be a mainstay in the Canadian sport community under its recently rebranded name of Sport Law. I eventually came back to academia focusing on the legal underpinnings of sport and sport management.

    Teaching

    I have now retired from teaching. During the course of my teaching career, I taught a number of legally oriented courses in the Department of Sport Management. They were interesting to me because of their dynamic nature focusing on legal principles underlying the business of sport. Perhaps the most engaging course for me was a negotiation course in which we focused on the theory and skills of negotiation and spent considerable time putting it all to practice. Sport practitioners inevitably engage in some form of negotiation every day. One can learn to be a very good negotiator.

    Research work/projects

    My focus, and continuing interest in terms of scholarly writing, is the regulatory regimes of sport and their impact on participants within the system, particularly athletes. The recently introduced Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport and the independent regulatory body overseeing it, presents a number of jurisdictional and institutional issues worth exploring. A colleague, Marcus Mazzucco, and I recently contributed 5 chapters on the subject to a new digital book on Safe Sport, edited by CSC Director Dr. Julie Stevens. Similarly, athletes face several jurisdictional barriers when attempting to advance their interests and challenge the International Olympic Committee’s exercise of authority over the Olympic Movement. A number of recent decisions of the Court of Arbitration for Sport provide opportunity to examine the jurisprudence around these barriers and allow me to continue writing in the area.

    Hobbies

    It’s golf season – enough said!! I also have a couple of trips of the hiking and cycling variety planned. Retirement affords opportunity to dig into some of these activities a bit more seriously and combine them with travel.

    I typically have 3 or 4 books on the go at any one time. A very engaging visiting law professor once said to a class I was attending that an ingredient of professional and personal success and satisfaction is being a well-rounded and informed person and recommended we read a book a month. It has become a life long habit and pleasure, though sometimes a challenge. I typically have a book on some professional subject matter (currently, Regulating International Sport: Power, Authority and Legitimacy by Lloyd Freeburn), a biography or political book (currently, The Arbornaut: A Life Discovering the Eighth Continent in the Trees Above Us by Meg Lowman) and some sort of mystery, espionage or courtroom drama (just finished State of Terror by Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton) lying about.

    Closing Thoughts

    With a curious demeanour and an open mind, it is not difficult to stay engaged and learn new things daily. Life long learning kept the job interesting and the mind alive. The learning environment doesn’t have to be formal – though it can be. For a time while practicing law, I enrolled in a number of art history courses as a way to distract from the intensity and drama of the work. Engaging in a negotiation course through another university led to the development of a similar course as part of the Sport Management curriculum (and the development of some very important skills). You never know where inspiration will come from or where it might take one.

    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • Jason Corry – Exit Blog, Marketing, Communications and Business Development Coordinator

    Hi, my name is Jason Corry, I am originally from Whitby Ontario and am currently completing my fourth year of Sport Management at Brock University. Over the last four months I have been the Communications, Marketing and Business Development Coordinator at the Centre for Sport Capacity.

    The Centre for Sport Capacity is an amazing organization which has allowed me to improve both as a person and a professional. I learned a great deal about the intricacies of how sport organizations operate and through these processes I developed skills in a wide variety of operational areas that I had previously had no experience with. I do not consider myself a very creative or artistic individual and as such the idea of generating visual content on the CSC’s social media platforms seemed daunting at first. However, with the support of my amazing supervisors, CSC Members, and fellow student interns, I was able to become comfortable with content creation sites such as Canva.

    I also developed practical soft skills that will assist me in my future. I communicated with a variety of stakeholders in a vast array of tones. This allowed me to enhance my communication skills both written and verbal. I wrote emails, created social media posts and spoke with various partners. Communicating with so many different stakeholders allowed me to effectively convey my ideas, which is a valued skill in the workplace today.

    The most exciting project that I worked on was the Girls Leadership Academy which will take place this summer during the 2022 Niagara Canada Summer Games. As the Communications, Marketing and Business Development Coordinator, I was tasked with bringing this project from the conceptual phase through to fruition. I used many business strategies that I had learned in class to assist in developing this program. For example, I used financial analysis tools to help determine the price points and revenue projections for this event. Specifically, I created a break-even analysis using course teachings from SPMA 3P27 and developed an in-depth SWOT analysis to assess the marketplace.

    One of the Centre’s many foci is knowledge mobilization (KM) within the sport industry. This involves taking information that has been discovered through research and communicating findings to help inform policy-makers, other individuals and organizations who can put this information into practice. In my role I worked on many different forms of KM and this experience has allowed me to secure an RA position with the Canada Summer Games Academic. When I first applied to work at the CSC, I did not know what KM was, but through the many projects and events that I helped deliver at the CSC I have now been able to gain summer employment in an area I now enjoy.

    Overall, working for the CSC has taught me so much about working in an office setting and has enabled me to develop as a professional. These lessons will help me succeed in my postgraduate work. I have recently been accepted to Osgoode Hall Law School and am hoping to pursue a career in law. My experience with the CSC and the skills I have developed in these four short months have created a great foundation that will help me to achieve my future career aspirations.

    I cannot thank the CSC enough for making this a wonderful experience and I would encourage any and all students to seek volunteer, placements or paid positions within the CSC.

    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Georgia Rudolph – Exit Blog, 2021-2022 Events, Marketing, and Communications Assistant

    Hi again! To reintroduce myself, I am Georgia Rudolph. I am a fourth-year student in the media and communications program at Brock University and I am wrapping up my 8-month internship as an events, marketing, and communications assistant at the Centre for Sport Capacity. I completed this internship as a part of the fourth year course; COMM4F00. Following the conclusion of this semester, I will be graduating with my undergraduate degree.

    My time at the Centre was a fundamental aspect of my education here at Brock. Throughout my internship, I was able to effectively apply the skills and concepts that I have learned throughout my undergraduate degree in order to prepare myself for the workforce. One of the key insights I gained through my time with the Centre is the importance of collaboration. During my time at the CSC I was able to work alongside many amazing staff and partners of the Centre, all of whom offered me valuable advice. Having a great team whom offers beneficial input truly showed me how much can be learned from our peers.

    While I was able to contribute to many CSC projects and events, an experience that I found to be extremely gratifying and educational was my involvement with the Sport Support Team (SST). The SST is a new initiative to the CSC which launched in January of this year. The goal of the SST was to assist in enhancing local sport association operations in several functional areas to achieve improved capacity following the struggles created by the pandemic. To do so, the Centre recruited and trained several student volunteers who were then paired with a local sport organization. These students contributed to the organization by assisting with fundamental tasks needed to support the operation of these non-profit organizations. As an athlete myself I have seen the detrimental impacts the pandemic has had on many local sport organizations. Being able to offer assistance to these organizations, while also offering students experiential learning opportunities is extremely gratifying. I am honored to have contributed to this program, and I cannot wait to see what the future of the SST holds.

    My role within the SST consisted of managing the start-up of the program, as the CSC team got this new initiative off the ground. I was responsible for managing many of the volunteer applications, as well as interviewing students interested in the role. As we got the SST running, our team organized professional development training sessions for the students in order to prepare them for their work with their partner sport organization. Furthermore, I was a contact point for our partner organizations as a way for them to outline their specific needs from the SST initiative, and to pair students with their partner organizations based on skills and interests. This experience was very exciting for me, as it allowed me to further develop skills in effective communication, and leadership.

    The CSC offered me many opportunities to further develop professional skills that will transfer into my future career. During my time with the Centre, I was able to gain experience in event planning through the management of the CSC Sport and Environment series. The series consisted of three webinars, each with expert keynote speakers whomst conduct research within the field. Being responsible for the effective planning and execution of this series was a huge accomplishment for me, and certainly taught me a lot about the various aspects of event planning

    As I reflect on my time at the Centre, I am immensely grateful for the wide array of experiences offered. I feel that I was able to bring skills that I had already developed, such as digital content creation, and use these skills to expand the CSC’s digital reach. Furthermore, being able to work in a team environment where my voice is valued allowed for me to share my perspective on CSC events and content as the team worked together to improve the Centre’s output.

    As graduation quickly approaches, my next steps are starting to fall into place. This May, I will be starting a role as a customer engagement co-ordinator for a company within the sports industry. This role will allow me to draw upon my experience at the CSC, and further the skills I have been able to develop throughout my internship.

    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Ian Macintosh – The Sport Support Team: Helping Community Sport Organizations in Niagara

    The Sport Support Team: Helping Community Sport Organizations in Niagara

    The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on many aspects of life both locally and internationally. There were monumental political, technological, and social changes seen throughout the world. However, the critical problem affecting many small community sport organizations (CSO) was the economic burden imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the South Niagara Canoe Club (SNCC), the programs that fund their core operations were suspended, leaving the SNCC unable to generate revenue.

    Recognizing the challenges that the SNCC and other community sport organizations faced, I decided to join the Sport Support Team (SST). During the pandemic, I realized the power sport has to unite people during challenging times. People wanted diversions and positivity when there seemed only to be unwelcome news. I still missed the ability that CSOs had to connect with others who share similar passions. Therefore, I joined the SST to create opportunities for others to similarly use sport as a mechanism to build positive social change at a community level.

    In November of 2022, I joined the SNCC as a team manager. My role consisted of helping the organization ideate and promote its spring, summer and autumn programming for the 2022 calendar year. The planning aspect consisted of event creation and implantation on their website. I partook in helping to schedule and post the programs onto the website and then promote the programs through the club’s social media. Before joining the club, I had no experience with canoeing, kayaking or dragon boat. However, I do not believe that not having experience with unfamiliar sports should stop you from applying. With the SST’s help, I quickly learned many lessons about both the sport and the vision and values that the SNCC had. This knowledge lets me tailor my work to meet the expectations of the organizational stakeholders and have more impact within my role.

     

    Below, I outline some of the main lessons that I took away from my experience helping a local sport organization following the COVID-19 pandemic.   

    A Little Help Goes a Long Way in Small Organizations

    Most CSO members are volunteers. Any support that you provide to these organizations, no matter how small, goes a long way in helping them. Although I was volunteering only five hours a week, I quickly became an integral part of the organization. With the training provided by the SST, I approached each situation with professionalism and put an intentional focus on learning more about the culture and stakeholders of the SNCC. This resulted in significant trust and responsibility being put into me. For example, having an audience of over 30,000 thousand people on social media felt slightly daunting. Nevertheless, the experiences the SST provides will help us understand some of the roles and responsibilities that we will have in future internships and entry-level jobs within the sport industry.

     

    Adjusting to the Ambiguity of the Professional Work Environment

    One of the first lessons I learned after joining the SNCC was how different our academic careers are from a professional work environment. In high school and university, you often have a clear outline of the expectations for a project or exam and what steps you need to take to succeed. However, I quickly realized that in a professional setting, the tasks we are responsible for have a variety of ways to be achieved. Thus, it is vital to have a supportive environment focused on helping you acclimate. Through the SST training and the kindness of the SNCC members, I quickly adjusted to the unique working environment that nonprofits work within. With their support. By asking probing questions and learning organizational expectations, I soon became comfortable with ambiguity which played a large part in finding success within my role.

     

    Developing Transferable Skills for the Sport Industry

    Having an opportunity during our time at Brock University to gain experiential learning and utilize the theoretical knowledge we gain from our classes can feel incredibly rewarding. I built upon my education to develop transferrable skills that I can use in my personal and professional future. Below I outline three transferable skills I acquired while working for the South Niagara Canoe Club.

    Organization

    Given that the volunteer work was self-directed, you have the flexibility to choose when to begin and end tasks to meet obligations. In order to succeed, I needed to elevate my organizational skills. While I worked with volunteered for the SNCC and the SST, I managed many responsibilities. I was volunteering for the 2023 North American Indigenous Games, the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games and working on independent research study while having seven full-time classes at Brock University. Thus, the importance of managing my time efficiently was necessary to find personal success while also bringing value to the South Niagara Canoe Club.

    Coordination

    In my role as the team manager of the South Niagara Canoe Club, the importance of planning and coordination were paramount to increasing summer program participation after the COVID-19 pandemic. To better plan the summer programs, I scheduled frequent meetings with the Commodore and other stakeholders, letting me better tailor the programs to a target audience and enhance the SNCC’s mission of becoming the go-to destination for paddle sport within the Niagara region. The tailored, carefully planned approach resulted in 73 registrations during the first three weeks of summer camp registration — an increase from only 14 the previous year. By increasing my coordination with others, I was able to gain the insights needed to succeed within my position and gain valuable skills for my future career goals.

    Analytical Skills

    Being part of a CSO also helped me understand and solve real problems local sport leaders face every week. For example, while I have been an avid social media consumer for countless years, I never really considered the differences between creating content for myself and for an organization. In my volunteer role, I had to think critically about the best ways to connect with my target audience while remaining authentic to the SNCC brand. One way to do this was to create new social media platforms for the SNCC to leverage, like LinkedIn and Tik Tok. It also meant expanding my social media platforms to include Facebook, Tik Tok, and Twitter. I had to analyze the different audiences and cultures of each platform and adapt my content creation strategy. Through these multidimensional problems, I challenged myself while building my analytical skills.

     

    Conclusion

    As a result of the Sport Support Team and the collaboration between the Centre for Sport Capacity and the South Niagara Canoe Club, I experienced an invaluable opportunity to build transferable skills and learn how CSO’s have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, this experience has been one of the most fruitful in preparing me to enter the sport industry after I graduate. I would recommend the SST to anyone looking to engage in community and nonprofit sport organizations in the future or anyone simply looking to give back to the community and further their personal and professional growth.

     

    If you want to get involved with the Sport Support Team, Visit our Volunteering Page

    All Photos Courtesy of the South Niagara Canoe Club

    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Bailey Burke – Exit Blog 2021-2022 Events, Marketing and Communications Assistant

    My name is Bailey Burke, I am from Barrie, Ontario, and I have just completed my 4th year of the Business Communication program here at Brock! I have been an intern at The Centre for Sport Capacity for the past eight months and have officially completed my experiential learning requirements with them. The CSC brought me on as an Events, Marketing, and Communications assistant (intern). My role consisted of working alongside my team to develop media content, organize webinars for community members, and also gave me opportunities to work with other departments within Brock to create promotional content for upcoming events being hosted by the CSC. I was given autonomy over the work and content that I made, which allowed me to gain confidence and experience within my desired field and expand my network, to name only a few of the opportunities presented to me during my time with the CSC. 

    Expanding on my experiences and opportunities, I came into the experiential learning program hoping to grow my hard skills while still improving my professionalism and transferable skills. Event management and content creation within the Centre allowed me to develop both simultaneously.

    The webinars I assisted with required multiple posts to inform students about the upcoming webinar discussions, the speakers who they would hear from, information about the host of the webinar, etc. This allowed me to develop many different graphics, which became second nature as my internship went on. In addition, I had to meet with webinar hosts to gather the information I needed to create this content. Working with the hosts allowed me to network, become comfortable leading meetings, and gain the confidence I needed to handle myself professionally in different settings. 

    Though there was a lot to be learned from the work that I did with the Centre, each was unique and had exciting elements. The most exciting project I was given a chance to work on was the content development for the Sport Conference Day that is being hosted May 17th, 2022. This event offers high school students the opportunity to come to Brock for the day and hear from a keynote speaker, complete workshops, as well as hear from a Brock student panel. The event also allows SHSM students to complete many of their requirements. My role in this event started in the early planning stages. I worked with Brock Recruitment to work out promotional measures and the overall expectations for the day. This resulted in a flyer being developed and shared with high school teachers to encourage them to bring their students. As a result, the Sport Conference Day surpassed the expected number of participants and now has a waitlist for classes looking to attend! It was really rewarding to see the amount of interest for this event I had a small part in. 

    The Sport Conference Day is only one accomplishment I had at the Centre. There were many personal accomplishments I was able to make during the past eight months. From perfecting my email etiquette to learning how to work efficiently and effectively as part of a team, I reached the goals I had set for myself. 

    Though I am sad to be leaving the CSC, the perspectives and skills I am leaving with will be prevalent as I move toward my next steps after graduation. As I go forward into my career, the communication skills and workplace etiquette that the CSC taught me have provided me with the confidence and capability to enter the workforce. Knowing that I can design content, work with a team, communicate with an array of people, organize events, etc., is all thanks to the work and opportunities the Centre provided me. 

    Categories: Blog, Students

  • March Member Showcase – Dr. Taylor McKee

    Background

    I’ve been a sports editor for both the University of Calgary and the University of Victoria’s student newspapers. I’ve created podcasts, most notably Body Paragraphs which can be found on Spotify, I’ve blogged about, and been consumed by sport my entire life. My journey into sport scholarship came about purely by chance while working as a TA at the University of Victoria’s History department pursuing an MA in French history. I was able to apply the methodological and theoretical concepts I was learning in my Master’s degree to the study of sport, which was a revelation for me. After finishing a PhD, under the direction of my fantastic advisor Dr. Janice Forsyth, and teaching in British Columbia at Thompson Rivers University, I am so thrilled to be here at Brock and part of the CSC’s vibrant and growing community.

    Dr. Stevens introduced me to the Centre, and I remain grateful for her introduction to it. I am so looking forward to helping the Centre grow and to lending a helping hand wherever possible.

     

    Teaching

    So far at Brock, I have been fortunate to teach SPMA 1P93 – Diversity and Inclusion in Sport Management, 1P94 – Professional Engagement for the Sport Industry, 2P06 – Sport Policy, 3P05 – Management Concepts in Non-profit Sport Organizations, and 4P97 – Advanced Analysis of the Sport Industry: Hockey.

    Each of these courses has been an exciting opportunity for me, and I am fond of each for separate reasons. For some courses, it gives me the chance to have challenging discussions and allow students to consider sport from different perspectives. Others, like 3P05 for instance, allow students to be directly involved with the sporting community and forge lasting connections in the sport industry. In developing the 3P05 course I saw a great deal of wasted potential as we only focused on the conceptual side of non-profit sports. I felt that by having students work directly with non-profits they could gain valuable first-hand experience in a variety of areas that would help build skills for the future. For instance, with the North American Indigenous games, students are learning about how the governance model works of a non-profit. They’re meeting the people that fill the roles of Vice President, Secretary, director, they’re learning that those people are professionals in other fields. They’re learning these people are extremely committed, extremely capable and I think delivering the course in this way is a hell of a lot more interesting than listening to me blabber for three hours a week. Partnering with the CSC for this course seemed like a natural fit because they work with so many non-profits it allows for students to assist many sport organizations at once.

    One thing that has been true since arriving at Brock though: it’s still hard to shake the feeling of ‘I am so lucky to be talking about sport each and every day.’

     

    Research Work/Projects

    Journal of Emerging Sport Studies: In 2018, Andrew Pettit, Jared Walters, and I founded an open-access journal called the Journal of Emerging Sport Studies (JESS) with the goal of providing high-quality scholarship at no cost to authors. We accept submissions from established and emerging scholars and one of the JESS’s mandates is to help people just starting their academic careers through the gruelling publishing process. JESS helps to get research to the public free of charge at no cost to the researcher. Since initial publication, we have created an open-access, manuscript publishing imprint, hosted digital symposia, produced a public-facing series of discussions and interviews called “Emerging Discourses,” and published six volumes of sport scholarship from emerging and established scholars around the globe.

    Indigenous Hockey Research Network: I am so fortunate to be part of the IHRN. We are a collective of researchers dedicated to uncovering and engaging with hockey’s Indigenous past, present, and future. We aim to cultivate critical understanding of hockey’s role in Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations in Canada. Through archival research, personal interviews, data analysis, and Indigenous community-led approaches, we take up hockey as a site for community building and Indigenous empowerment, as well as a vehicle for the pursuit of reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and other Canadians.

     

    Ice Breakers

    Are you involved in any clubs/associations?

    • The North American Society for Sport History
    • The North American Society for the Sociology of Sport
    • Indigenous Hockey Research Network
    • Society for International Hockey Research

    What’s your favourite TV show right now?

    • All time: The Wire
    • Right Now: Barry

    What are your current hobbies/interests?

    • Playing beer league hockey and collecting CDs

    What’s your favourite book?

    • Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

    What’s your favourite sport or sports team?

    • Born and raised in Calgary: a tortured, devoted Calgary Flames Fan
    • Other sports:
      • Stampeders, Jays, Raptors, TFC, Hyderabad Sun Risers

     

    Achievements/Memorable Moments

    My biggest brag is, honestly, getting a chance to be here at Brock, teaching sport every day.

    Also, one time I met most of the cast of Cool Runnings. My mom used to run a Film Festival in Calgary, and my last year there I thought we should do a 25th anniversary of Cool Runnings. I told my mom I will plan a reunion for them, and we’ll have a showing at Olympic Park where the bobsled track is and she said no, this will never work. So, I just did it anyway behind her back. And sure enough, we got Doug E. Doug, who plays Sanka, we got Derice who’s played by a guy named Leon Robinson. And we got the real life Derice Bannock, Dudley Stokes and we got them all there to watch the 25th anniversary of Cool Runnings. They watched the movie at the Bob Sled Track, and I watched the Super Bowl with the three of them, as the Film Festival just happened to be on Super Bowl Sunday.

     

    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • Interview with Chris Charlebois – Innovation and Creativity in Sport Webinar

    We asked Chris Charlebois to answer some questions about the upcoming Innovation and Creativity in Sport Webinar taking place on Thursday, March 24th from 1:00pm – 2:30pm EST. 

    He spoke about his connection with sports innovation, why participants should attend the webinar, and what the format will look like.

    1) What is your connection with sports innovation, and why is this topic important to you?

    My connection to sports innovation stems from my professional life as an entrepreneur. From a young age, I have always had a curiosity and drive to find more efficient ways to execute simple or complex tasks. The topic is important to me because many sports organizations have recently been forced to become more innovative due to external influences (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic). Moreover, with a shifting amount of people working freelance or multiple jobs, being creative can lead young people to identify ways to provide a higher degree of value to sports organizations but understand how organizations and individuals can embrace innovation and creativity.

    From my professional experience, many sports organizations in Canada specifically have not always embraced change or innovation because it is seen as ‘scary’ or there is resistance within the organization or its leadership. I hope that for any sports leaders, we can start to educate them on the value of embracing innovation and creativity within their organizations as there are several ancillary benefits for the organization’s business and its people; which should lead to resources for the company/organization to drive more revenue or serve more members.

    2) Why should people attend this webinar?

    People should attend this webinar as it will demonstrate practical examples of how organizations embrace innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, whether they are private, not-for-profit or another type of organization. It will also provide examples of how SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) can embrace these principles. Often we learn or hear through popular media about innovations being adopted at the pro-sports level by the “Big 4”. In Canada specifically, the majority of sports organizations are not-for-profit organizations that lack the same resources and must find alternative ways to be creative and innovative; as such, this will provide an invaluable way for students or other sports organization leaders to learn how to implement innovative practices in all areas of sport.

    3) What can participants expect this webinar to look like? 

    Panelists will be providing a 10-minute ‘case study’ outlining how their business or organization has embraced innovation/creativity. Following the presentations, there will be a moderated panel with questions for the panelists and then an opportunity for any attendees to ask questions of the presenters.

    If you are interested in attending this webinar please register here!

     

    Categories: Blog, Webinars/Forums

  • February Member Showcase – Dr. Ryan Clutterbuck

    Background

    I would say I identify as a football coach and that was my passion for a long time. Football coaching brought me back to academia to pursue a master’s degree in coaching and was the springboard for my subsequent PhD in sport management.

    My dissertation is titled ‘Capacity for Sport for Development’, so the idea that a place – the Centre for Sport Capacity – exists to support local sport organizations achieve their goals really aligns with my values and research interests. Dr. Weese said it best, “If we’re not serving practitioners, we’re not serving sport management”.

    Teaching

    I’m teaching Organizational Behaviour in Sport Organizations (SPMA 2P21) and Leadership in Sport Management (SPMA 4P09). I’ve also taught the Introduction to Sport Management course (SPMA 1P91) and Negotiation of Deals and Dispute Resolution (SPMA 4P96). They’re all great and offer unique challenges from the instructor’s perspective. I love the enthusiasm in the first-year class. And because I started at Brock in September 2018, I’m just now seeing students in SPMA 4P09 who I remember from SPMA 1P91. That’s a highlight for me.

    Research Work/Projects

    I’m most excited about research that impacts sport organizations. Action Research (AR) (or, participatory action research) in particular, where sport organization leaders/members and academic researchers collaborate (as co-researchers) to solve a problem.

    As an example, at the most recent North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) conference, I and two CSC colleagues (Dr. Shannon Kerwin and Dr. Pat Reid) presented findings from an AR-inspired project titled Building Coaching Capacity at One Provincial Sport Organization. With that project, the PSO was interested to learn more about their coaches/members experiences and expectations of the PSO.

    Accomplishments

    Earlier I mentioned I identify as a football coach. Well, the more you coach the more opportunities you have to be around some amazing people and amazing athletes. This year I enjoyed watching L.A. Chargers wide receiver Josh Palmer. I had the pleasure to coach Josh (and so many other great young men) as part of the 2015 Team Ontario at the International Bowl Series at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. To my knowledge, that may be the last Team Ontario to defeat Team U.S.A. at that event.

    And just this week, Tanya Walter was hired by the B.C. Lions. She’s the first full-time female coaching hire in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and was a great player with the 2017 Football Canada Women’s National Team that I was fortunate to coach.

     

    Categories: Blog, Member Showcases

  • Mandisa Lau – Breaking Down Barriers, One inning at a time: Reflections as a Community Researcher

    Breaking Down Barriers, One inning at a time: Reflections as a Community Researcher 

    Up to 62% of Canadian adolescent girls are not participating in any kind of sport and one in three girls who have participated in sports drop out by late adolescence (Canadian Women & Sport, 2020). 

     Such statistics illustrate that gender inequality continues to be prevalent in sports. Therefore, I was thrilled to collaborate with Canadian Girls Baseball, Brock Centre for Sport Capacity and Community Researchers on a research project that was looking to understand female athletes and family satisfaction. Specifically, Canadian Girls Baseball (CGB) were looking to see if a female-owned, and led organization made an impact to young female athletes. As a result, I created survey questions that were then distributed and e-blasted to families to capture their satisfaction rate. In total, there were 50 respondents.  

    Our aim for the research project was to examine players’ satisfaction as well as understand the impact of a female-led sport organization upon female youth participants. This blog provides my reflections, key lessons, and valuable skills that I acquired as part of this project. I look forward to continuing to practice and improve such skills throughout my journey as a researcher.  

     

    Diamond, Surveys, and Self-reflection: Lessons Learned 

    I learned a lot from attending training modules, conducting needs assessments, creating, and analyzing research data. Below, I outline two skills that I learned through this process.  

    Lesson #1: “See Me, Be Me” 

    “See me, be me” I first heard this simple but profound quote during my initial needs assessment with Canadian Girls Baseball CEO, Dana Bookman. With multiple female leaders to look up to within the CGB, this quote was very fitting. The quote was also extremely inspirational as it encourages women to keep breaking down barriers, especially in male-dominated sports, like baseball. For instance, when one strong female leader overcomes a barrier, it inspires others to do the same. Through survey responses, parents also indicated that CGB was an excellent example of what women can achieve when they work together.  

     

    Lesson #2- Think Outside of the Diamond: Design your Research to be Impactful for a variety of stakeholders’  

    When I was designing my survey, I had focused on our main objectives: 

    1. To measure/determine/analyze if organized baseball programs can result in a safe environment where female players can develop psychosocial skills and life skills  
    1. To determine how CGB has influences the lives of female players 
    1. To measure/determine what impact female players felt as CGB is a female-led, girls only organization. 

    I assumed that these results would only be used to tailor and improve CGB’s existing programs I did not realize that the results could be used beyond program improvement, such as, grant and funding applications. Therefore, I included questions where respondents self-reflected on the perceived importance of CGB being a female- run and all sports organization that aims at to break down barriers, especially in male-dominated sports.  

     

    Developing my Skills as a Community Researcher 

    By participating in this collaborative project, I was also able to reflect on my experience and how I can best apply the professional and life skills I developed. Below, I outline and discuss three professional and life skills.  

    Accountability  

    As a full-time student with two part-time jobs, I always hold myself accountable for everything I do.  However, I have never partaken in an independent study course where the majority of the course was done autonomously and self-directed. At first, I found it daunting, how was I supposed to hold myself accountable if there were no specific deadlines? In addition to the monthly training modules, it also served as a quick check-in to see where each student was at with their projects. Through monthly training modules and email check-ins with my academic supervisor, CBG and Community Researchers, I had the opportunity to enhance my accountability skills.  

     

    Written Communication  

    Due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, most of my communication with CGB was through email. It was important that I was able to draft well-written and clear emails to ensure that everyone was on the same page. Therefore, I further developed my writing skills through drafting weekly reports and emails to CGB, Community Researchers and my academic supervisors.  

     

    Flexibility 

    Conducting a research project remotely had its own challenges. Specifically, a prominent challenge encountered was the management of varying work schedules. Our initial meeting took place during my reading week when I visited New York, and despite being on a trip, I looked forward to our meeting and was prepared to work remotely. On the other hand, different work schedules also meant that there were delayed messages or missed email responses. Our course timeline was greatly affected by this, especially during the launch of the survey. However, with a new mindset and an extension to the course, we were ready to continue!  

     

    Conclusion  

    As a result of this collaborative project with Brock Centre for Sport Capacity, Community Researchers, and Canadian Girls Baseball, I learned important lessons about the value of having a strong female mentor and how to use survey results beyond the CGB program. In addition, I had the opportunity to gain and improve on my accountability, written communication, and flexibility skills. Overall, I hope that this meaningful collaboration as well as my research data will bring light to the persistent issue of gender inequality in sports.

     

    References  

    Canadian Women & Sport (2020). Canadian Girls are Dropping out of Sport According to National Study. Women and Sport. https://womenandsport.ca/canadian-girls-dropping-out-of-sport/ 

      

    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Interview with Dr. Naraine – Sport Gambling Webinar

    We sat down (virtually) with Dr. Naraine from the Sport Management Department to chat about the upcoming Sport Gambling Webinar. The webinar will be held February 9th at 3:00pm EST. 

    In our interview, we had a chance to speak with Dr. Naraine about his connection to sport as well as what participants will gain from attending this event. 

    1) What is your connection with sports gambling, and what excites you about it? 

    Being a researcher and seeing the advanced and mature environment of sports gambling in Australia, my interest was rejuvenated. While in Australia, the research I conducted consisted of looking at the way brands were connecting with consumers through the use of digital and social media. There were many different elements at play that had to be considered, such as what app or company to choose when betting.

    What really excites me about sports gambling is that it is truly new territory for North America. This is something Canada has been talking about implementing for years, and legislation has slowly come about. Now we are finally in a place where it is no longer illegal, although regulations are province by province, this market in Canada is just at the starting line. I am interested in seeing the dynamic going forward considering the development that sports betting has undergone in other countries. It can be the next big thing to help sports teams and leagues develop new fans and galvanize older fans. It is not only going to increase profits but will also help to create more awareness in the sports industry.

    2) Why should people attend this webinar?

    Everyone should attend this webinar, whether they, A) know nothing about sports gambling, or B) know lots about sports gambling. Both students and community members will hear from professionals to gain knowledge about the industry; contrasting their usual consumer perspective. This webinar will allow people to get a better sense of what’s about to happen and what we will be seeing within the next year from these brands in terms of job prospects. It will also allow people to simply get more familiar with the future of sport in Canada. Sports betting is going to have massive implications for the next generation in terms of ensuring responsible gambling and holding these brands to proper standards (giving back to their community.) All things considered, this webinar is about learning more from two high-profile individuals who are very knowledgeable about the sports betting space in Canada.

    3) What can participants expect this webinar to look like?

    The webinar is going to be an industry-focused conversation. Participants can expect the discussion to be insightful and provide a behind-the-scenes perspective. All too often, discussions hosted at the academic level tend to gravitate towards both the research and theoretical substances, but this webinar will focus on the practical implications. This webinar aims to be a fluid conversation that we would expect students, alumni, and community members to all be able to identify with, from both a research and scholarship standpoint, as well as the more practical implications in terms of finding a job, leveraging the opportunities to grow different sports properties, and much more.

    If you are interested in attending this webinar please register here!

     

    Categories: Blog, Webinars/Forums