• Adam Green – Entry Blog, Marketing, Communications, and Event Coordinator

    My involvement in sport since an early age has profoundly impacted my physical and mental health as well as helped to build my core values. This is the reason I want to pursue a career in sport, to give back what it provided me to others in the community. Having said this, what better way to get involved in the sport community than to work for the Centre for Sport Capacity? 

    Hi, my name is Adam Green, and I am from Oakville, Ontario. I am going into my fourth year as an Honours Bachelor of Sport Management student at Brock University. This summer of 2023, I will have the opportunity to intern for the Centre for Sport Capacity in the Marketing, Communications, and Event Coordinator position. I am excited to work with the CSC team in these upcoming months and develop as a student and a professional. 

    I found this position while scrolling through internships on Brock CareerZone. I remember immediately stopping as I recognized the CSC brand from a few events I had seen on social media. The position description intrigued me as I had prior experience in event management, marketing, and communication-driven positions. I also noticed it was an excellent opportunity to develop a variety of skills. After a great first impression of the organization, I began researching the Centre for Sport Capacity, and it was only then that I knew where I wanted to intern. Looking through the CSC website gave me a great idea of the variety of services and programs we provide within the sport community as well as the numerous events we host and support. Examples of events that intrigued me were the Promotion of Safe Sport in Canada forum and the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay. The CSC portrayed an organization committed to developing its interns and the sport community, which connected with my own values and vision. 

    So, I applied right away and am fortunate to now be writing my entry blog. I am very enthusiastic as I start my position at the CSC and begin to meet the team and settle into my new working environment. The two aspects that excite me the most about my internship are working to help improve and develop upcoming CSC events such as the Safe Sport Forum and marketing our brand on social media. Throughout my coursework at Brock, I have noticed that I gravitate toward event management and marketing. This could be due to my natural creativity, leadership, and communication skills which I can apply to my upcoming projects at the CSC. 

    Even though I find myself enjoying certain areas more than others, I am still unsure what I want to specialize in within the sport industry. Thankfully, this internship position offers numerous paths for me to explore and develop my skills. That is what makes this CSC internship unique, it will give me experience in a diverse set of operational areas which will help me to understand what career best suits my strengths. While keeping an open mind, I am hoping to learn and accomplish upcoming projects through the planning and management of events, the navigation of digital content creation, and the development of my verbal and written communication. I am also excited to step outside my comfort zone and learn about areas such as data analytics, who knows, I might enjoy it!  

    Overall, it is hard to narrow down what I hope to learn and achieve as this experience offers such a wide range of development opportunities. For now, I will try to soak it all in and bring what I currently possess to the team. I can deliver effective leadership skills through past supervisory volunteer positions for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games, I can utilize my event management and marketing skills through contributions to the various events and promotions of the Brock Sport & Business Association, and I have built strong communication skills from many team-oriented environments. I look forward to applying my strengths in this position, but more importantly to developing my weaknesses, and learning new skills.  


    Categories: Students

  • Cameron Hubscher – Entry Blog, Marketing, Communications, and Event Coordinator

    Whenever someone has asked me what I want to do in life, my answer has always been to be involved in sport. Being immersed in sport is where I find myself most comfortable, while also feeling the most motivated to create positive lasting change. Now, the Centre for Sport Capacity will be providing me with the opportunity to get real experience working in sport. 

    My name is Cameron Hubscher. I am a Sport Management Student at Brock University, graduating in the Spring of 2024. My favourite sports are hockey and tennis. I am from Montreal, Quebec, so naturally I am a fan of the Montreal Canadiens. Some of my areas of interest are Sport Psychology, Mental Performance, Analytics, and Scouting/Recruitment of athletes. In the future, I plan on completing a Master’s degree in Sport Psychology in order to become a Mental Performance Consultant. Feeling the need to learn more about my passions led me to join the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) as the Marketing, Communications, and Event Intern. As I complete my first week interning at the CSC, it is clear that the environment will be an instrumental part of my development as I move forward with my career in sport.  

    When I first came across the CSC’s intern position posting on the Brock University Career Zone, the title of the organization caught my eye. Prior to doing any research, the Centre for Sport Capacity sounded like an organization that worked in areas of athlete support. Given my future aspirations, I needed to know more. Fuelled with curiosity, I began to search for what the CSC was all about. I was pleasantly surprised that a number of their current projects & past events aligned with my future ambitions. This includes events such as the Athletes First: The Promotion of Safe Sport in Canada, the Hockey Culture Webinar from the CSC Forum Series as well as the Safe Sport Project and the Sport For Life E-Learning Modules from the CSC’s Project List. While looking through the CSC’s extensive impact on sport in the Niagara region and beyond, I felt the Centre’s goal surrounding the enhancement of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility to sport to be the prominent themes of the organization. These pillars of their organization fully align with my values. Further within the position, due to the entrepreneurial focus of my future aspirations, my personal development of marketing, communications, and events-based skills are a priority to feel prepared for life after University.  

    Something that stuck out to me during my interview with the CSC, was their curiosity in my interests. Our Director, Dr. Julie Stevens and Coordinator, Grace Nelson, wanted to know the areas in which I felt most comfortable so they could tailor the internship experience to my strengths. I consider this to be a unique aspect of the Experiential Education opportunities at the CSC. They have given me the liberty to tackle projects that I have interest in as opposed to a copy-paste internship structure. I look forward to continuing to develop my skills in data analysis in a formal work environment by working to refine the CSC analytics database and collect current statistics for the Centre. Additionally, I will focus on increasing my knowledge of different forms of social media and developing partnerships with key organizations for the CSC. I also look forward to expressing my opinions with knowledgeable CSC members as well as developing the tools to run meetings independently. 

    From my past experiences, I bring to the CSC a knowledge of analytics and Excel data collection from two years with the Fort Erie Meteors as a Statistics Tracker and Data Analyst, which will help enhance the efficiency of the CSC’s social media and website, while also interpreting trends to further aid their digital activity. My past as a Junior Development Director at a private tennis club allows me to plan for future events and coordinate with multiple stakeholders. During this time, I hosted and organized events for the junior program while also creating initiatives to increase involvement and connection from the junior members to the junior program.  

    Paraphrasing Dr. Taylor McKee, a wonderful professor, mentor and prominent member of the CSC, “Sport is not inherently good. There is a misconception that sport is good, and that sport alone can create positive change. In reality, sport is a vessel in which positive change can occur.” Based on my brief time with the Centre for Sport Capacity, it is evident that they understand this notion and that the Centre makes a significant effort to use sport for good by creating positive sustainable change within their community. 

    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Selena Racco – Exit Blog, Marketing, Communications, and Events Assistant

    Saying goodbye is never easy, but I hope that this exit blog will serve as a meaningful tribute to the impact that The Centre for Sport Capcity has had on my personal and professional development. This year I was lucky enough to have had the opportunity to work at the Centre for Sport Capacity as a marketing, events and communications assistant (Intern). As my time as an intern comes to a close, I can’t help but feel grateful for the opportunities and experiences that this role has provided me with. Working in this position at the CSC has allowed me to gain valuable skills, network with industry professionals, and contribute to exciting events and projects.

    Over the past 8 months, I have been able to learn so much about the sports industry, including the challenges and opportunities it presents. The guidance and support provided by the team have been invaluable in helping me develop my skills and knowledge. I have had the privilege of working on a variety of tasks and projects, from coordinating social media campaigns to designing promotional material to support upcoming events. I was given freedom over the work and content that I created, which allowed me to gain confidence and experience within my desired field and expand my network.

    One of the highlights of my time in this role was being part of The 2022 Niagara Active Economy Summit (AE). During this event, I had the opportunity to work on the creative designs for the invitations and the information package. This project allowed me to gain many valuable skills including design, communication, and project management. I worked closely with my supervisor and other team members to understand the goals and messaging of the event. I was able to use The AE Summits brand identity for the creative designs, including choosing the appropriate colors, fonts and imagery that would appeal to the target market and convey the event’s message. This project allowed me to gain valuable experience in working collaboratively, incorporating feedback, and altering my designs to align with the event’s objectives.

    Working on the creative designs for the invitations and information package provided me with a range of valuable skills that could be applied to future projects. I have gained experience in design using Adobe Illustrator and Canva, communication, and project management, and had the satisfaction of seeing my designs come to life and contribute to the success of the event.

    Another aspect of this role that I appreciated was designing engaging and eye-catching posts for the CSC’s LinkedIn and Twitter. This provided me with valuable experience in social media marketing, graphic design, communication, and collaboration. My favourite design has been Member Monday’s and it has been a rewarding aspect of my role that helped to enhance the CSC’s online presence and reach.

    As I move on from this role and transition to the next stage of my career, I will carry the lessons and experiences I have gained during my time as an event, marketing and communications assistant. I am grateful for the support and guidance of my colleagues, the opportunity provided to me by Julie Stevens, and the chance to contribute to some exciting initiatives in the sport industry.


    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Sarah (Xiaoxia) Tan – Exit Blog, Marketing, Communication, and Event Coordinator

    Prior to my involvement with the CSC, I never would have imagined that I could achieve things such as:

    – Giving a public presentation to a group of 70 audience members

    – Collaborating with government and local sport clubs to host events

    – Designing an organizational e-magazine

    – Managing professional social media accounts

    – Executing marketing strategies for initiatives and programs

    – Producing an organizational branding video

    However, my experience at the CSC has been nothing short of paradise, offering me opportunities to explore areas of interest while providing the autonomy to develop skills aligned with my position.

    During my internship, my tasks revolved around administration, marketing, communications, and event planning. In addition to regular duties such as responding to emails and attending meetings, I was keen to improve the CSC website and social media platforms. Recently, I successfully revamped the website using WordPress, a tool I had only learned two months prior. Through user-centered design principles, I introduced new elements such as a Twitter timeline, event videos, and an e-magazine, improving both the look and functionality of the website.

    Video editing was another skill I acquired at the CSC, using tools such as iMovie, Canva, and CapCut to create engaging content. My first video project was for the LEAD LIKE A GIRL – Women in Sport Leadership Panel, which received positive feedback from viewers and inspired me to produce a branding video for the CSC. The branding video I designed is aimed to showcase the centre’s core values and brand story to the target audience.

    One of my current projects is creating marketing strategies for the upcoming Team Building on the Water program. This involves generating eye-catching promotional content for social media and the website based on market analysis and research. With the program launch around the corner, I look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the community and local businesses.

    Working as part of a talented team at the CSC allowed me to accomplish tasks in collaboration with other teammates based on their specialties and interests, resulting in successful social media promotion campaigns, including the 72’ Hockey Summit Series promotional videos, CSC’s Member Monday posts, and educational infographics to feature experts’ research. I am excited to see and welcome new teammates to join, with all the ongoing projects and awesome ideas, it will be another fantastic year for the CSC.

    Although my internship at the CSC is not yet over, I already miss the time spent here. The knowledge and experience I gained during this educational learning experience have greatly contributed to my personal and professional development. Choosing the CSC for my internship was an excellent decision, and I would do it again without hesitation.

    What are you waiting for? Let’s have some fun.


    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Sarah (Xiaoxia) Tan – Entry Blog, Marketing, Communications, and Event Coordinator

    In my first year at Brock University, I hesitated about my future career while taking economics and labour relation courses. Soon after I learned about sport management through my classmates, I knew this is what I wanted to study for the rest of my time at university. 

    My name is Sarah Tan, and I am from Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Transferring from economics to sport management is one of the best decisions I have made because the knowledge and skills I gained in the past four years allowed me to see things with a different perspective. Also, it led me to where I am today as the Marketing, Communication and Event Coordinator Intern at the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC). I am very excited about this role as it is a great opportunity to earn workplace experience before I graduate in sport management this upcoming spring 2023. If you are still in school, or building your resume for job hunting, you may find some useful tips here! 

    The experiences from my past role as a part-time marketing and event planning assistant at an international high school expanded my understanding of culturally appropriate marketing and helped me create the school’s brochures. I also went on a business trip with the vice-principal of the school to facilitate the establishment of a student exchange program in Bogota, Colombia. Later, I created promotional contents that drove interaction on social media for the high school by applying the knowledge I have gained from my history of art courses. By planning and supporting major events during my previous employment, such as convocation, musical night, and a Christmas party, I acquired practical knowledge and skills that will help me in my new role at the CSC. 

    I was thrilled to learn about this opportunity when I saw the hiring post on Brock Career Zone as I took part in designing an e-magazine last year for the CSC and felt a strong connection to the organization. Brock University’s industry-leading expertise in sport management has prepared me well for this role. For example, I applied the theories, business knowledge, and analysis skills that I learned in entrepreneurship course, to my marketing projects, and they were very helpful. I also worked on a magazine design project with a team of 33 people in SPMA 3P05. At the end, I had a good practice with digital design and communication skills. 

    The CSC hosts various events, such as workshops, forums, webinars, in partnership with sport clubs, businesses, and organizations throughout the region. My goals of this internship are learning the ability to evaluate information and use rational reasoning to analyze problems, apply knowledge, make decisions, reflect on, and overcome problems. Also, there are two important technical skills on my list that I want to learn at the CSC, WordPress, a website management system, and video editing. The ability to manage content (e.g., fixing errors, scheduling, updating), adapt messages to the audience based on context and culture, and create persuasive contents will be an asset for my future career in any industry, especially in marketing. 

    It is only my second week at the CSC, and I have already been involved in many exciting projects. One is the Club Development Workshop Series, which was a discussion about gender inclusivity in sport and recreation. For our upcoming events, I am working with the CSC team on promoting the LEAD LIKE A GIRL Women in Sport Leadership Career Panel on February 10th. I am also working on Team Building on the Water which is a corporate training initiative in which we partner with a local canoe club to help build a business model and generate revenue. Thus, identifying problems and creatively translating ideas into solutions through experimental investigation and using information from a variety of sources will be one of my challenges encountered in this role. 

    There are many more exciting events and projects to come, and I cannot wait to take part in them! The CSC is a perfect workplace for a senior student in sport management/ business communication/community recreation/media & communication, etc., who aims for a role in areas such as event, marketing, communication, or business development in an established sport organization in their future career. I believe the accomplishment of the internship at the CSC will offer me valuable field experience that provides guidance and support for my academic and career endeavors. It is a must-have opportunity for students to build their professional and personal development, and there is a caring director, Dr. Julie Stevens, who will guide you step by step into the business workplace in sport. I cannot wait to practice my skills and experiences in marketing, event planning, and customer relations and contribute to the CSC’s mission and development. 


    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Calvin Pietron – Exit Blog, Marketing, Communications, and Event Coordinator

    I think you’ll agree with me when I say: 

    The Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) is an excellent organization that benefits various communities, associations, and students such as myself. 

    For those who missed my introductory blog, my name is Calvin Pietron, I’m currently in the fourth year of my Sport Management degree at Brock University. During the Fall 2022 term, I served as the Marketing, Communications, and Event Coordinator (Intern) for the CSC where I expanded my knowledge in a variety of operational areas. 

    The integration of what I previously learned throughout my sport management degree played a large part in what I accomplished with the CSC. Key areas I learned in the classroom, such as event management, marketing, and business communications, translated into real-world applications across all aspects of my internship role, particularly through the various events the CSC holds throughout the year. Each of these three operational areas gave me the hard and soft skills to propel my professional career. 

    Through marketing, I developed copy and creative hard skills while being responsible for the creation of visual designs using the Canva software. On the other hand, copywriting was a constant theme throughout my internship. The copy created for the CSC was a big change for me switching from academic forms of formal writing to business style short form writing including anything written on the CSC website, social media, or and other digital assets. Throughout my internship, I created over 30 social media posts between the CSC’s Twitter and LinkedIn profiles which generated an additional 24 new followers in the short time frame. 

    I developed my interpersonal skills through communications via numerous emails, meetings, and networking opportunities. Email communications occurred daily with an average of 50 or more per day. I was able to demonstrate proper email etiquette to industry, community partners, and stakeholders and leverage this knowledge when networking to gain insight on a potential future job, or simply advertise to others my accomplishments and skills in an area.  

    Through event management, I managed my own events with the help of colleagues, and a professional Event Planner in the industry. I was a part of four total events for the CSC in the areas of pre-event planning, day-of event management, and post-event. 

    The most exciting event I was able to be part of was the ‘72 Summit Series 50th Anniversary Event which featured a film screening, expert panel discussion, and book signing. The movie Ice Breaker: The 72 Summit Series was based partly on the book Ice War Diplomat. My duties working with the CSC on this event included the communications and social media strategy (SMS) to promote the event using the CSC’s website, email communications, and social media platforms. I was also a part of “day-of” logistical solutions for the event, which was held at The Film House in downtown St. Catharines, including setup and tear-down for items required during the panel discussion. Overall, by managing the event from start to finish, I learned how to effectively manage an event and the different processes involved.  

    Looking back on all the events and experiences I achieved working with the CSC, I was able to understand the office-style work environment as it was a welcomed change. Most importantly, I have developed real-world skills employers are actively looking for. I now know what it takes to work as a team effectively, be a better communicator, and set goals for what I want to accomplish short & long term. 

    I truly valued my last four months working for the CSC. I would like to thank my educator Dr. Julie Stevens, Director of the CSC, and colleague Grace Nelson, Coordinator at the CSC for their ongoing collaboration and knowledge translation. I encourage anyone looking to become a community partner or work for the CSC to look no further than their website. 


    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Selena Racco – Entry Blog, Marketing, Communications, and Events Assistant

    Hello! My name is Selena Racco, I’m interested in pursuing a career in marketing, specifically the creative aspect. Why? You might ask? Well, what better way for me to experience the thrill of catching the eyes of consumers and shaping the way they see brands in a challenging yet exciting way?

    So here I am at the beginning of my journey. I am originally from Cambridge, Ontario. In my fourth and final year of the Business Communications program at Brock University. I am very excited to begin my placement as the Event, Marketing, and Communications Assistant with the Centre for Sport Capacity where I can engage with this community and build strong relationships.

    I am thrilled to be a part of this team and gain hands-on experience in a field I want to pursue after my degree. Marketing is a very diverse industry with many different aspects that pique my interest.

    In today’s age, social media plays a huge role in a company’s brand image, and it will only continue to grow, making it a great career choice for my future. Social Media Marketing is a type that sticks out for me as I want to boost overall brand image and customer loyalty through visuals and communication.

    While in my studies at Brock University, I have been able to develop organizational, verbal, and written communication skills. I am excited to apply these skills to promote CSC’s brand image. As someone who grew up in generation Z, I am very familiar with social media networks, and I enjoy using digital media platforms such as Canva to develop digital planners and organizational wallpapers. I am eager to bring these skills to the workplace as well, where I’ll be able to create dynamic content, and provide my skills to a range of audiences.

    My main motivation for attending Brock was the opportunity to take part in an internship. When I received the email for this opportunity, it stood out to me, allowing me to pursue Event Management, Marketing, and Communications, and put these aspects into the sports industry.

    My short time with the Centre for Sport Capacity has given me an overall feeling of inclusiveness. As a student with little to no experience in the marketing world, I have been lucky enough to work in a professional setting with a group of individuals who can provide me with further knowledge to help me succeed in my future career.

    I am very excited to start my first project here at CSC with the Niagara Active Economy Summit (AE). I am passionate about design and event management, and through this event, I will be able to use and enhance my skills in Adobe Illustrator to propose creative designs. At this event, I also have the responsibility of creating invitations and acting as a guest service planner. I am excited about this event because it will be my first dive into the world of marketing. I look forward to hearing feedback and recommendations from my supervisor to guide me in the right direction for future events.

    Working on the AE summit has allowed me to take that first step into the real world of work and begin my journey, and what better way to do this than through engaging with the sports community? The purpose of this position is for me to be a part of a place where I can have a sense of fulfillment and gain experience from the CSC to create meaningful work and relationships.

    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Calvin Pietron – Entry Blog, Marketing, Communications, and Event Coordinator

    Over the years, I’ve always asked myself “What are you going to do with your life?”. A question I’m sure many others can relate to. The Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC) has given me the vision I need to understand what I’m willing to do with my life.   

    My name is Calvin Pietron. I was born and raised in the small town of Ancaster, Ontario but moved to St. Catharines at the beginning of 2022. I knew I always wanted to work in the professional side of sport to follow in the footsteps of those I look up to – family and friends who have worked in the professional sport industry.  

    My new role at the CSC is focused on Communications, Marketing, and Event coordination as an intern. I am excited to join the CSC team and I look forward to the many projects, experiences, and connections that I will make along the way with an emphasis on expanding my marketing skills and knowledge. 

    My time at Brock University has attributed my love for sport marketing. A key area for me is ongoing feedback to understand what the consumer wants and to preserve a legacy for events to continue. My previous job as a Brand Ambassador with Betstamp, I created many feedback forms following a new event or initiative. Analyzing the data gave us a better understanding of what we needed to make the event even better for all of those involved the next time around.    

    In terms of what I can bring to the CSC regarding communications, Betstamp also gave me transferable skills such as content creation, content management, and managing social media posts and accounts. These skills are relevant to the CSC which hosts both a website and social media accounts, produces media releases, and generates many digital marketing assets. Similarly, to Betstamp.  

    One of the projects I am most excited to be working on with the CSC includes several webinar events that will be taking place over the next four months. Most notably, our upcoming webinar features an ex-NHL player discussing the current hockey culture with an old teammate. This is a topic that is very relevant in the current sport world with all the recent controversy. The CSC has hit the ground running with this webinar and learning how to market this event has taught me how important it is to get a jump on the promotion of an event. 

    This is a taste of the upcoming projects I look forward to working on with the CSC. I look forward to my time with the CSC and the ability to further my real-world working experience. For the first time during my University career, I now know what I want to do with my life and it’s thanks to the CSC. 

    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Chris Weier – Exit Blog, Marketing, Communications, and Business Development Coordinator


    Hello, my name is Chris Weier. I am from Niagara on the Lake, Ontario and I am finishing my Sport Management degree at Brock University where I will graduate in the Fall. Throughout the Summer, I spent my time as the Marketing, Communications, and Business Development Coordinator at the Centre for Sport Capacity (CSC).

    This internship position with the CSC allowed me to develop both professionally and personally as an individual. I was able to develop soft and hard skills in areas that I had little to no experience in before, that can be transferred to future employment opportunities. Firstly, I was able to expand my marketing skills, specifically around social media. I was able to create written content for the CSC’s social media platforms  (Twitter and LinkedIn) for a variety of our events. Secondly, I was able to grow my event management knowledge by planning and executing several events  throughout the Summer.

    Additionally, I was also able to develop my communication skills, both written and verbal, during my time at the CSC. There was a tremendous amount of email communication that occurred daily where I was able to learn proper email etiquette and best practices. I was also able to broaden my verbal communication when sharing ideas in meetings and having conversations with various colleagues.

    Through this internship, I can recognize that communication is still an area for improvement for myself, and continuing to reflect on my experience will be beneficial to my professional development. I want to become more comfortable talking in front of a group of people and being confident when sharing my opinion in group settings.

    The most exciting project I was able to be a part of was the CSC’s LEAD LIKE A GIRL program that took place during the Niagara 2022 Canada Games. This program was designed for 11-13-year-old girls as a leadership program where participants were immersed in classroom sessions and had the unique opportunity to attend and watch women’s Canada Games competitions. I was tasked with the sales and marketing promotion of the program through the CSC’s social media platforms and by reaching out to community members through phone and email communication. I was also a major contributor to the logistical planning for the program, to ensure we delivered an engaging experience for the participants.

    The most rewarding aspect of this program for me was knowing that I played a part in inspiring the next generation of women to be strong leaders both in sport and in the community. This first installment of the LEAD LIKE A GIRL program was highly successful, and it will be exciting to see the future and evolution of this program.

    Being a part of the Canada Games was also an experience that I am grateful for. Whether it was with the LEAD LIKE A GIRL program, partnering with the Coaching Association of Canada  (CAC) to offer a Mental Health 101 workshop for coaches, or working at the Brock activation tent, I was able to meet and interact with people from diverse backgrounds and various parts of Canada, all with a common interest in sport.

    As I reflect on my internship experience, working for the Centre for Sport Capacity has taught me a great deal about how sport organizations work and the general workplace environment. I have learned what my strengths are as a person and employee, but I have also seen areas that still need improvement in the future. These lessons are invaluable and will be used for my professional development and growth as a person.

    I want to thank the Centre for Sport Capacity for making this an enjoyable and exciting four months and I encourage students to explore all the experiential education opportunities  the CSC offers.

    Categories: Blog, Students

  • Kailey Webster – Community Researchers Study: Assessing The Intent of Hockey Facilities in Canada to Become Greener

    Hello, my name is Kailey Webster, and I am from Uxbridge, Ontario. I am a fourth-year student studying community recreation at Brock University. This past school year, I was presented with the opportunity to work with Community Researchers and CARHA Hockey in conducting nationwide research. I completed this research as part of my fourth-year individual thesis course, RECL 4P27 and will be graduating in June with a great deal of new knowledge and perspective gained from this experience.

    Throughout the four years of my bachelor’s degree, I have taken courses that identify the current issues facing the recreation and sports industry. The problem that I have been most intrigued by is the impact that our facilities have on the environment. For example, “the NHL features one of the biggest carbon footprints in world sport, with the NHL Emissions Report revealing that it produces more than 1,430 tonnes CO2 in carbon emissions in 2019 in travel to and from away fixtures”. This current issue is why I was intrigued when presented with the opportunity to work with CARHA Hockey to assess the intent of facilities within Canada to become greener.

    Throughout this experience, I was required to attend four different workshop sessions with Community Researchers in their Community Improvement Research Training Program. The first module was intended to inform researchers on conducting a needs assessment with our clients. We were subsequently tasked with creating a needs assessment document for all parties to sign. Through this, we established the following objectives of the research project;

    • To assess the interest and intent of arenas nationwide to go ‘green’ or the desire to implement action to be more ‘green.’
    • To determine the barriers that arenas face in becoming more ‘green.’
    • To determine what support community facilities need to become more ‘green.’
    • Other related objectives required by CARHA Hockey and its partners.

    The second workshop focused on data collection. In this session, we discussed types of data collection, software and best practices, building surveys, and were tasked with creating our data collection surveys for our clients. Creating a survey was a lengthy process, and many samples were made before the survey was finalized. The final survey consisted of 52 questions strategically formatted for analytical purposes. Once the survey was sent out, we acquired 63 respondents and moved on to the next step.

    The third workshop focused on data analysis. In this module, we learned how to export the data to a spreadsheet, perform calculations within the spreadsheet, and how to utilize crosstabs and filters. Once all of the data was organized and analyzed, I then moved on to the next session.

    The final session focused on report writing. During the final steps of the research study, I learned how to create graphs and tables from my research, put my findings into words, and effectively communicate the results to the public.

    I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have received in conducting my first research study with Community Researchers and CARHA Hockey. The following are the main takeaways from the survey conducted.

    1. Most respondents are interested in implementing professional development concerning greener facilities.
    2. Three-quarters of facilities do not employ a position responsible for representing environmental sustainability.
    3. Most facilities do not implement an on-ice green initiative that is outlined by NHL Greener Rinks.
    4. Facilities implement a significant amount of green initiatives that are outlined by NHL Greener Rinks in off-ice areas.
    5. The average period between maintenance procedures on various facility amenities is one year.
    6. Most facilities are interested in implementing the green initiatives mentioned in the survey.
    7. Overall, the barriers that arenas face in becoming greener are lack of funding, lack of staff capacity, and facility structure.
    8. Respondents offered comments on the barriers they face in becoming greener.

    You may find more details on these findings in the final report.

    Throughout this experience, I have taken away two lessons that will benefit me moving forward in my studies as I return to Brock University for a Master of Arts degree in Applied Health Sciences.

    Lesson 1: Communication

    The most crucial aspect of working with a team is communication. Without effective communication between all parties, certain needs will not be met. In the beginning, this was a challenging practice for me as I had never worked with a group of professionals on such a substantial project. Through my challenges, I learned that asking questions and remaining open to new ideas is essential in identifying objectives when establishing a needs assessment. When projects are passed from the client (CARHA) through many individuals before the idea reaches the student (me) taking on the project, the project’s main objectives may be lost in communication. Therefore, it is essential to have direct and open contact with the clients. When I took on this project, I had already thought of many interesting ideas and possibilities of where this research could lead. However, I had not yet met with my client. When I finally met with them, I realized that their ideas might have been misinterpreted in some areas before the concepts were introduced to me. This obstacle was not a massive deal as, through open communication, we were able to establish the direct objectives that CARHA was hoping to achieve through this study.

    Lesson 2: Accountability

    Another important lesson that I learned through my experience as a community researcher was being accountable for my work. In the past four years of my undergraduate degree, I have gotten used to having all of my work lined out for me with clear directions and due dates. Therefore, I had never truly experienced what it was like to be accountable for an entire project from start to finish. This study allowed me to experience this new element of responsibility. As with many young learners, I was not perfect from the get-go. However, I do believe that I have learned what is required from someone who is taking the lead on a project like this. I have learned that accountability is not just about completing your work but is also about remaining in contact with stakeholders, sending updates, and ensuring your work is high quality, among many other tasks that underline the accountability of your work.

    I would like to thank Michael Harker for his support on this project and Martha Barnes for providing this opportunity. I would also like to thank CARHA Hockey for trusting me with this project and allowing me to improve my research skills through this work. I believe that through this experience, I am able to identify critical personal areas that I need to improve on. I intend to work toward becoming a more well-rounded research professional that will be respected and trusted within the industry.

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