Thursday, April 29, 2010

SIRC Newsletter -Exercise Induced Asthma

Check out the latest SIRC Newsletter on Exercise Induced Asthma!

Do you find yourself coughing, wheezing and short of breath when exercising? Athletes and exercisers are finding themselves breathless due to more than just exertion. Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) is becoming more prevalent in both asthmatics and non-asthmatics. Unlike regular asthma, which is usually triggered by allergens, allergies or irritants, EIA is triggered by exercise and vigorous activity. Exercise-Induced Asthma is treatable and does not mean that you can’t exercise. According to the Canadian Lung Association “As long as your asthma is under control, exercising is recommended to keep your lungs and body in good shape”.

Roller Girls and Roller Boys!

Keeping with the Pan/Parapan American Games theme this week, two events that some might not know are a part of the games are Roller Speed Skating and Roller Figure Skating. Yes, you read that right! Peter Doucet and Morgane Echardour are two of Canada’s National Roller Speed Skating Champions and both attended the “Think Tank” session on April 24th.

There are four main racing circuits used in roller/ inline speed skating.

  1. Open road - either in a big loop or point-to-point racing usually features outdoor and longer (10+ km distances) on streets.
  2. Road - track racing on a track from 400 – 1000 metres, in Canada usually on outdoor 400-metre school tracks and at world championships on tracks with an asymmetrical configuration.
  3. Track - racing usually on smaller outdoor tracks about 200-metres long. In some countries, specially designed outdoor banked tracks are used as well – outdoor speed skating is the International form of the sport
  4. Indoor - racing on a 100-metre track- usually in a gymnasium or a roller skating facility.
    Unlike ice speed skating, there are no “lanes” in roller speed races. All races begin with a standing start, and the number of competitors on the line for each race or heat varies, depending on the size of the track and the type of race being skated. Each participant is timed individually, with the fastest time winning the race as his/her front wheels cross the finish line.

Unlike Roller Speed Skating Roller Figure Skating is done on traditional roller skates. Skaters enter artistic events in one or more categories which include Figures, Free Skating, Dance, and Pairs, just like their counterparts on ice.

Roller Sports Canada is the governing body for the sport and when you visit their website you will notice that another roller sport is included – Roller Derby. It may not be part of the Pan/Parapan American Games, or any games for that matter, but it is a popular and fast growing sport especially among 20 something women. With slogans like “Real Women, Real Hits, Real Heart” and competition entitled Beast of the East and Quad City Chaos you can only imagine the mayhem and entertainment that pursues. These girls make NHL hockey players look like wimps and with the popularity of the film Whip It one can only imagine how this sport will grow. So dust of those roller skates from the 1970s and give it a try.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pan/Parapan American Games’ "Think Tank"

On Saturday April 24th SIRC’s Regional office Information Specialist participated in the Pan/Parapan American Games’ “Think Tank” put on by the Sport Alliance of Ontario (SAO). This event was arranged to give the Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) an opportunity to come together as a group and identify the top five legacies they would want to see come out of the 2015 Games, which Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe will be hosting.

After opening remarks by Holly Abraham, Chair of the SAO Board of Directors, and a brief background presentation by Blair McIntosh, SAO’s Director of Games, facilitator Marg Strus broke the participants into five groups. Those groups then had 90 minutes to brainstorm to come up with their top five legacies overall.

When the groups came back to share their results there were some definite common themes in the responses. Infrastructure was one theme that was important to all. It included not only facilities, but transportation as well. PSOs want permanent, multisport facilities that will continue to be maintained and used post games.

Training was also a common theme. Training not only for coaches and athletes, but for volunteers, and games administration as well, so the Pan/Parapan American Games can be the best games they can be. Having Ontario host smaller international sporting events prior to 2015 was suggested as a perfect way to facilitate this.

Other common themes included Communication, Partnerships, Community Development and Multiculturalism. SAO took away each group’s final five as well as all their brainstorming notes and will be compiling the results to present to Ian Troop, CEO of the Pan/Parapan American Games, before the next scheduled session on May 29th, 2010.

Below are some SIRC resources which may be useful to game organizers.
“Everyone rolls up their sleeves and mucks in”: Exploring volunteers’ motivation and experiences of the motivational climate of a sporting event. Allen, Justine B.; Shaw, Sally, Sport Management Review (Elsevier Science ) May2009, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p79

A Study of Human Resource Management Practices in Sport Events Management Organization in China. Lei Li, Journal of Beijing Sport University 2009, Vol. 32 Issue 5, p8

Consumer Satisfaction with an Action Sports Event. Yosuke Tsuji; Bennett, Gregg; James Zhang, Sport Marketing Quarterly 2007, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p199

Cultural Orientations of Sport Managers. Girginov, Vassil; Papadimitriou, Dimitra; López De D'Amico, Rosa, European Sport Management Quarterly Mar2006, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p35

Organizational Image and Identity Management in Large-Scale Sporting Events. Parent, Milena M.; Foreman, Peter O., Journal of Sport Management Jan2007, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p15

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Get active on vacation!

It’s never too early to start thinking about your summer vacation. This year why not try to make it an active holiday. With the sport tourism industry growing by leaps and bounds, many people are jumping on the bandwagon and centering their holidays around participating in a sporting activity. Whether you enjoy cycling, sailing, running, hiking, climbing, or any other activity there are many businesses that can help you enjoy your vacation while getting a great workout.

Some vacation ideas include:

These are only a few of the wide array of sporting vacations that are available to individuals as well as families. In order to make sure that you get the most out of your holiday be sure that you get some training in. For tips on training and conditioning for any of these sports and more check out the many resources in the SIRC Collection.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What is sport tourism?

While there are varying definitions it is generally agreed upon that there are two primary characteristics of sport tourism:
  1. An individual must travel more than 80km and/or stay overnight to attend, compete, or otherwise be involved in a sporting event.
  2. Sport is the reason for travel in that an individual would not have otherwise traveled to that location had it not been for that specific event.

Sport tourism is now the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry. And according to the Canadian Tourism Commission, the sport tourism industry is a $2.4 billion a year industry in Canada (Canadian Tourism Commission, 2004).

One side of this sport tourism coin is the growing industry of sporting event hosting. Whether it is a local, regional, national or international competition, hosting a sporting event has varied social, structural and economic effects on a host community. From creating awareness of sport and physical activity, creation or renovation of facilities, to visitor spending, hosting sporting events can have significant impacts. For example, a CBC article indicates that consumer spending in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., increased 48 per cent during the recent Olympic Games including spikes and ebbs during Canadian medal winning events such as increases post-event for men’s aerials and ice dance competitions and decreases during the men’s hockey finals.

In Canada, the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) is an organization whose goals include marketing Canada internationally as a preferred sport tourism destination, sharing best practices, measuring the economic impact of sport events and enhancing the profile of sport tourism. CSTA offers a variety of resources that aid in researching the feasibility and viability of hosting sporting events in your community, including:

  • Canadian federal and provincial/territorial policies for hosting sporting events;
  • economic impact reports of various past sport competitions
  • business plan templates
  • sport tourism planning template

CSTA also hosts the annual Sports Event Congress which is taking place in Toronto this week.

For more information on sport tourism and sport tourism research contact SIRC (

Monday, April 19, 2010

Celebrating Ontario’s Athletes

On Thursday April 15th, 2010 SIRC’s Toronto Regional Information Specialist had the honour of attending the 45th annual Ontario Sport Awards which took place at the Atlantis Pavilion, Ontario Place, presented by the Sport Alliance of Ontario and the Ministry of Health Promotion. The event was hosted by Hugh Burrill, City TV sports anchor and Alexandra Orlando, Rhythmic Gymnast, Olympian and Pan Am Bid Committee Member.

The night got underway with the Corporate Sport Citations which are presented annually by the Province of Ontario to corporations that have been a leader in supporting sport through sustained corporate involvement over several years. The next award on the agenda was the SYL APPS Special Achievement Awards, which are presented annually to volunteers who have contributed to the development of sport in the province.

Other big Winners of the night were:

Congratulations to all the winners and to the Sport Alliance of Ontario and Ministry of Health Promotion for putting on a wonderful evening to honour Ontario’s Best.

To view all award winners at the 2009 Ontario Sport Awards please click here

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Don’t get stressed out

When kids are asked why they want to play sports the most common answer is “It’s fun!” At the same time many children find themselves in sport situations where they feel overwhelmed, under pressure and/or anxious. As children get older and the level of competition increases stress levels can also increase. Research does suggest that kids can experience stress at many levels of sport.

So what can parents and coaches do to help their young athletes? The most important thing to remember is that we shouldn’t be putting the players under additional stress. Some practical tips to help your youngsters include:
  • Using relaxation techniques like deep breathing can help those who are anxious before games.
  • Focusing on positive thoughts that are simple, specific and targeted to the task at hand.
  • Communication. Find out from the athletes what is stressful for them and involve them in the process of deciding what coping skills work for them
  • Expected stressors are much easier to deal with than unexpected ones, so help athletes to think ahead about potential sport and life stressors and how they can be planned for.

Remember that everyone is an individual and what might work for one, may not work for another. Trying out different coping skills helps each child learn what works for them. Teaching coping skills is one of the most important things we can do to help our young athletes deal with the pressures, stress and anxiety in sports. Not only is this a good skill for sport, it can be a very valuable life skill.

Find resources like this one in the SIRC Collection.

Source: Tamminen, K. & Neely, K. (2010). Help Kids Cope with Stress in Sport: Practical Tips for Coaches and Parents. Fitness Informer, Winter 2010, p.23.

Online resources:

  1. Handling Sports Pressure and Competition (
    The Stress of Youth Sports (
  2. The Nature and Function of Adolescent Sport Friendship Qualities in Managing Stressful Sport Transactions: Summary Report ( Nature and Function of Adolescent Sport Friendship Qualities in Managing Stressful Sport Transactions: The Experience of Competitive Swimmers. Summary Report (
  3. Crocker, P.R.E. & Hadd, V. (2005). Stress. In D. Levinson & K. Christensen, Berkshire Encyclopedia of World Sport. Great Barrington, Massachusetts: Berkshire Publishing Group. (
  4. Crocker, P.R.E., Hoar, S., & McDonough, M.H., Kowalski, K., & Niefer, C.B. (2004). Emotional Experience in Youth Sport. In M. Weiss (Ed.), Developmental sport and exercise psychology: A lifespan perspective (pp.197-222). Morgan Town WV: Fitness Information Technology.(

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SIRC Newsletter -Drink Up!

Check out the latest SIRC Newsletter -Drink Up!

Did you know that chocolate milk provides excellent muscle recovery, or cherry juice helps with aches and pains, or that excessive cola consumption can lead to problems with your muscles? We have heard how important it is to stay hydrated when exercising, but there is more to it than fluid intake. Of equal importance is what you drink and when you drink it. Different beverages have been proven to aid in recovery, help with cramps, boost energy and keep you hydrated. But if you drink them at the wrong time during your workout, you may actually be hurting your performance.

Breathe Easy!!

Asthma is associated with a condition where an irritant causes difficulty breathing. Commonly, allergic asthma is caused by a reaction to environmental concerns such as pollen or animal dander. However, more and more athletes and exercisers are finding themselves breathless due to more than just exertion. Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) is becoming more prevalent and its causes are unclear and differ by person.

Common triggers that activate EIA include cold and/or dry air. During normal breathing we breathe through our nose which serves to warm, humidify, and cleanse the air we inhale. This makes it more resemble the air in our lungs. When we exercise, we breathe more through our mouths and this air is colder and drier when it reaches our lungs. This contrast in cold and warm air is what can trigger an asthma attack. Also pollen, pollution and chemicals such as paint fumes also can trigger EIA by introducing an irritant to the respiratory system. The body reacts to the irritant to fight it off causing inflammation that leads to mucus production and bronchospasm.

Individuals should consult a medical professional if they are experiencing one or any combination of symptoms such as:
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest Tightness
  • Chest Pain
  • Prolonged Shortness of Breath
  • Extreme Fatigue

Exercise-Induced Asthma is treatable and does not mean that you can’t exercise. According to the Canadian Lung Association “As long as your asthma is under control, exercising is recommended to keep your lungs and body in good shape”.

For more information and resources on Exercise-Induce Asthma contact SIRC.

Resource: Thompson, D.L. (2009). Exercise-Induced Asthma. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 13(4), 4.

***FREE Asthma & Physical Activity Training Sessions offered by Ophea***

Monday, April 12, 2010

CASM Timely Topics: Osteoarthritis

The Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine (CASM) held its first Timely Topics workshop on osteoarthritis this past Friday in Victoria, British Columbia. Dr. Andrew Marshall and Dr. Bruce Davidson led the hands on workshop. Both physicians are actively involved in the athlete community. Brandie Adams from SIRC, presented and answered questions about SIRC and the SPORTDiscus.

The sold out workshop was a tremendous success. The next installment will be in Toronto during the annual CASM conference this June.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Weekend Warrior Syndrome – how to prevent sport injuries

Do you suffer from Weekend Warrior Syndrome (WWS)?

Definition: someone who is committed to a sport or activity but, based on life, work, and family demands, has limited time to participate or train for that activity.

Doing more than your training allows can often cause injury. Too much training without the rest can also do the same by causing overuse injuries. It is up to you to create the right balance.

Some tips for injury prevention:
  1. Wear and use all the proper gear and equipment for your sport
  2. Warm up – it’s necessary for every activity
  3. Play by the rules – they are there for a reason
  4. Train properly for your sport – skills training and proper body mechanics – use a certified coach
  5. Listen to your body – pain is a sure sign of injury.

Evidence has shown that injuries are not unlucky “accidents” but predictable events that are in most cases preventable (Rivara and Grossman, 1996).

What should you do if an injury does occur such as a strain or a pull?

REST – as soon as an injury occurs.
ICE – the injured area to stop swelling
COMPRESSION – prevents swelling and gives the injured area support
ELEVATION – reduces blood flow to the injured area, which also prevents swelling

SIRC has plenty of resources on the prevention and treatment of sport injuries for the weekend warrior in you. Check out these resources on concussion management, lower leg pain in basketball players, and ankle injuries.

From the Sport Discus:

  • Tackling in Rugby: Coaching Strategies for Effective Technique and Injury Prevention. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching Mar2010, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p117
  • Muscular strength, functional performances and injury risk in professional and junior elite soccer players.Lehance, C.; Binet, J.; Bury, T.; Croisier, J. L., Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports Apr2009, Vol. 19 Issue 2, p243
  • Knee Pain Prevention & Treatment. Track Coach Summer2008 Issue 184, p5888
  • Brain Injury Awareness Month.Brown, Kelli McCormack, Journal of School Health Mar2010, Vol. 80 Issue 3, p111
  • Evaluation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Concussion Initiative for High School Coaches: “Heads Up: Concussion in High School Sports”.Sarmiento, Kelly; Mitchko, Jane; Klein, Cynthia; Wong, Sharon, Journal of School Health Mar2010, Vol. 80 Issue 3, p112

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

There is more to April than Showers! It’s field lacrosse season

That’s right, the hockey sticks are being put away and the field lacrosse sticks are being dusted off; less equipment, but just as much body checking and fast paced action. For parents of lacrosse players, it is time to store away those arena seat cushions and get out the rain suits, umbrellas and lawn chairs. The season may be shorter, but it doesn’t always feel that way when the weather is often volatile. Field lacrosse games are very rarely cancelled due to weather; the players love it, the parents, not so much.

Field lacrosse is played with 10 players on the field – 1 goalie, 3 defenders, 3 midfielders, and 3 attackers. The attackers must always stay on the offensive side of centre, and the defenders must always stay on the defensive side of centre. The midfielders can go all over the field. If a team has less than 3 players in the attacking zone, or less than 4 in the defensive zone (3 defenders plus a goalie) the team is off-side and possession will be awarded to the other team. Sound complicated – not really, but this game is highly strategic.

Are Canadians making an impact in the Men’s American Field Lacrosse world? According to a recent Lacrosse Magazine article there were only 18 Canadian men in NCAA Division I teams in 2000. That number has increased steadily and in 2009 there were 74 Canadians including 10 alone on the roster at Bellarmine, in Louisville, Ky.

And what about on the international scene? Team Canada will be defending their world title – which was won on home turf in 2006 against the U.S. – in Manchester England this coming July.
The Canadian Women have also been making strides capturing bronze at the World Championships in Prague last summer.

We’re mighty! We’re crazy! We’re never, ever lazy!
We’ll beat you! Defeat you! We’ll even try to eat you!
We’ll cover you in hot sauce, cuz we’re the best at lacrosse.
Gooooo Team Canada
(Girl’s Lacrosse Cheer Courtesy of

For more information on the world of Canadian Field Lacrosse go to

Krome, Paul. Quality Control: behind LM’s research into high school alumni on Division I rosters. Lacrosse Magazine, April 2009, 33 (4), p.15.

Other field lacrosse references from Sport Discus:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How you can be fit and healthy for free!

There are great tips out there for those people who want to be fit and healthy for less. The fitness industry is a billion dollar business. There are never ending ways to spend money on equipment, clothes, supplements, classes and other gadgets when there is really no need. For most people exercise and maintaining a healthy diet is all that is needed. Although relying on your own willpower can be a hard thing to do, it is possible!
  • Join a community club
  • Take the stairs
  • Check out books and DVDs from the library
  • Start a walking group with friends
  • Listen to Podcasts
  • Download free Apps to keep you motivated
  • Watch for promotions from local fitness centres to try something new
  • Look up your favourite activity online. Popular publications often offer free classes or strength training tips on your computer
  • Volunteer to substitute for a local team

There are numerous articles in the SIRC Collection that can help you get fit and healthy for less. Check out past newsletters and online resource section for full text documents on a variety of topics including overtraining, healthy holidays, get fit, sports parents, and cycling.

Some references from the SIRC Collection on frugal fitness include:

  • Froeber, J. (2010). 20 Ways to Get Healthier for Free!. Health (Time Inc.), 24(1), 85-89.
  • Lander, D. (2008). BUILD A HOME GYM WITH A LOW BUDGET AND LIMITED PACE. American Fitness, 26(2), 9.
  • Weber, C. (2010). CREATE YOUR ULTIMATE HOME GYM FOR LESS. Men's Fitness, 26(1), 113-117.
  • Mejia, M. (2009). IF YOU BUILD IT…. Splash, 17(6), 24-25.

Additional Links to physical fitness include: