Our March Member Showcase is…Associate Professor with the Department of Sport Management at Brock University, Dr. Brad Millington!
We learned more about Dr. Millington’s areas of academic interest, a new class he is teaching called “Sport and the Environment,” a research project that he worked on about the use of bicycles in “development” initiatives, and some of his personal interests/hobbies.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to specialize in your specific line of work?
My two areas of interest are sport media and technology, and sport and environmental sustainability. Ages ago I was at a video store (maybe Blockbuster … which I miss!) and a Nintendo Wii promotion caught my attention – I think the Wii was described as intuitive. I already had experience studying sport media. This seemed a new way of talking about technology that was worth thinking about in depth. It led to an interest in technologies like wearable tracking devices, exercise-themed video games, and fitness apps. My work on sport and the environment started from a project with my supervisor, Brian Wilson, when I was a grad student at UBC. We’ve worked together ever since. And, of course, it’s driven by the fact that the climate crisis presents enormous concerns.
Can you speak about a class that you are teaching this semester/a class you taught previously/one that you will be teaching soon?
I’m excited that I’ll soon be teaching a new grad class called Sport and the Environment. You might have seen the alarming images of orange skies over San Francisco’s baseball stadium during the wildfires on the American west coast in the summer of 2020. It was another stark reminder of how sport is often at the whim of the environment – and will continue to be in the years ahead. So, it’s worth discussing how sport impacts and is impacted by the environment, and whether and how sport can contribute to better environmental futures.
Can you speak about any recent, current, or future research projects that you are excited about?
I was fortunate to be part of a project with colleagues, led by Lyndsay Hayhurst from York University, on the use of bicycles in ‘development’ initiatives. The project was timely in that bicycles seem to have taken on heightened importance recently – for example, in the pursuit of sustainable transportation, in providing economic opportunities, and in promoting health and wellbeing. The pandemic has only propelled this thinking. Yet the project also identified lingering barriers for bicycle users (or would-be users), such as environmental conditions and infrastructure that isn’t conducive to cycling.
speed round ice breakers
What is your favourite TV show right now?
I’m a big fan of watching cooking shows like Top Chef and The Great British Bake Off and then making my own (very) mediocre versions.
What is your favourite movie?
Too hard to choose. Field of Dreams is the first movie I rented (Blockbuster!). Do the Right Thing made me realize how meaningful movies can be. And A Few Good Men is the movie I’ve seen countless times.
WHat is your favourite book?
Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. The central idea – that the form of communication necessarily impacts the content – seems more relevant than ever in the time of social media.
what are your current hobbies/interests?
I’m quite enjoying tobogganing this winter, until we reach the inevitable point where I start carrying both my kids back up the hill.
NOW IS THE TIME TO TALK YOURSELF UP! WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU ARE PROUD OF (AWARDS, PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS, ETC.) THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?
Most of all, I love the range of different tasks that comes with life at the University. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in exciting collaborative research projects, to teach excellent undergrad and grad students, and to work with great colleagues on important administrative initiatives.