Monday, February 28, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

Thanks and Come Back Soon!
by Chris Morrissey, CEO, 2011 Canada Games

The 18 days of the Games have flown by, and while I'll leave it up to everyone else to judge our success, we're ending these Games with above all else - pride and confidence.

The speed of our ice, the quality of our snow, the hospitality of our people. The volunteers, staff, and officials who took it upon themselves to ensure that these athletes had all the tools they needed to break records and set new personal bests.

I'm so pleased with the way we were able to face challenges head-on and keep the focus on the athletes.

The community support for these Games was outstanding - Halifax and Nova Scotia truly embraced the Games. We had sold-out venues almost every day of the Games, and incredible crowds each night for musical performances at Grand Parade. It's a proud moment.

Thank you to the rest of Canada. Come back soon.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Hello from Halifax!

Farewell to Halifax & the 2011 Canada Games
by Michele Walker, SIRC

The 2011 Canada Winter Games are now officially closed and Halifax has bid farewell to their guests. The Games' 90-minute Closing Ceremony featured a variety of East Coast musical performers and the traditional parade of athletes, with the Games' torch being marched in by a group of Nova Scotia medal winners and handed over to the officials in charge of hosting the next Games in 2013 in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Quebec easily finished in first place in the overall medal standings earning 137 points for their hardware, 27 more than the runner up Ontario (British Columbia finished in third place with 88 points). But it was the powerhouse team from Ontario that once again, for the 19th time in 23 Games, who won the Canada Games Flag – for the most points accumulated by scores recorded by every athlete that participates in an event, not just the top 3 finishes (they had 312 points to Quebec’s 301).

Nova Scotia took the Centennial Cup, which is awarded to the team that shows the biggest improvement over their performance in the last Winter Games. They improved from zero gold medals to five, and from seven total medals in 2007 to 12 in 2011 (four of their medals were in boxing which is a shame for their program because boxing is being removed from the Canada Games program).

And it was also the host province of Nova Scotia that won the Jack Pelech Award which goes to the team who showed the best competitive performance, good sportsmanship and spirit of fair play!

The next Canada Games will take place in the summer of 2013 in Sherbrooke, Quebec followed by the next winter Games in 2015 in Prince George, British Columbia.

Way to go Halifax! Well done!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

SIRC at the JCSMS - Day Three

Obesity Crisis

Day Three at the Joint Commission on Sports Medicine & Science discussed obesity, physical activity and nutrition.

Obesity is a major public health issue as it puts individuals at risk for many significant chronic diseases. The prevalence increases with the societal decline in energy expenditure (physical activity), coupled with a lack of decrease in caloric intake. The World Health Organization (WHO) puts physical inactivity as the fourth highest risk factor for mortality by country economic status (statistics). Obesity/overweight is number five … should we be treating physical inactivity before obesity/overweight?

Let’s Move” initiative by First Lady Michelle Obama
  • To solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so children born today can grow up at a healthy weight.
  • Let’s Move Outside – get kids active so they see the physical activity they need not as a chore but as a fun way to explore the country
  • To introduce healthier eating choices and habits, to increase awareness of caloric intake and decrease unhealthy eating opportunities for children in their environments (schools, homes, etc)
3 pillars: physical activity, sports and nutrition

Balancing Physical Activity and Diet (Energy Balance)
Larger portion sizes combined with more sedentary behavior is causing increasing tendency for obesity. Diets fail because the body compensates for the lower caloric intake by decreasing the resting energy expenditure, therefore decreasing the energy burn. Physical activity’s role is to engage resting energy expenditure and then increase the body’s ability to burn calories. However, the key here is that diet alone or physical activity alone will not lose weight effectively … the body will compensate. It is the combination of physical activity and diet that will help combat overweight.

For more information on physical activity, nutrition and obesity contact SIRC!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

SIRC at the JCSMS - Day 2

Tackling Sport Concussion
by Nancy Rebel, SIRC

Did you know
  • 58% of all concussions occur in practice (high school & college football)
  • 140,000 concussions a year in US high school sport (football #1, girls’ soccer #2)
Presenter: Dr. Robert Cantu, MD
A lot of research has been done in concussion management, but it has really taken off since 2001. There is still much to be done. The best treatment for concussion, other than prevention, is physical and cognitive rest. It takes 5-10 days to recover from the symptoms of concussion, but in actual fact it takes the brain 3-4 weeks to really approach recovery. The length of time that symptoms occur is key in determining how serious the concussion is. The longer the symptoms last, the more severe the concussion is. For many injuries you can still play safely depending on the severity. However with spinal or head injury there is no such thing as playing hurt. The athlete should not participate while exhibiting any symptoms of spinal injury or concussion. It is about repetitive brain trauma, not just about the number of concussions.

“If in doubt, sit them out!”

Youth Concussion Management
Presenter: Gerard Gioia, PhD
  • Lack of education & awareness
  • Under-identification & under-recognition
  • Poor/incomplete management
Whereas in the professional leagues you see team physicians on the sidelines to deal with diagnosis and management, on the youth level there are parents and coaches. It is important that they are aware that it is not just concussion that they should be aware of, but any trauma to the head that may contribute to the build up of brain trauma. “If in doubt, sit them out” Again, not just physical rest , but cognitive rest. As an athlete they sit out, as a student they should also be “benched”.

Online Resources:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Concussion & Traumatic Brain Injury
NCAA Guidelines and Best Practices (multimedia resources)
Consensus Statement On Concussion in Sport (international Medical Associations)

For more information on sports concussion contact SIRC

Friday, February 25, 2011

SIRC at the JCSMS!

2011 Joint Commission on Sports Medicine & Science Annual Meeting
by Nancy Rebel, Director of Library Services, SIRC

SIRC is pleased to be a member organization of the Joint Commission on Sports Medicine and Science (JCSMS) and attend the annual meetings. The Commission gathers together the executives from over 60 organizations that are leaders in the area of sport and physical activity. This year’s meeting is taking place in Philadelphia and SIRC’s Director of Library Services, Nancy Rebel, is in attendance.

Today’s discussions focused on two features:

US National Physical Activity Plan: From Plan to Implementation to Progress
The Plan is a comprehensive set of policies, programs, and initiatives that aim to increase physical activity in all segments of the American population. The intent of the Plan is to be inclusive and across all sectors and industries. The Plan focuses on the power of collaboration. The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) has taken a leadership role to move forward on the implementation of the plan. Goals are for the Plan to be very active, to create measurable change, setting annual strategies to forge forward on multi-year plan.

Latest resource for the Plan:
Make the Move report (digital report - interactive viral publication)

Wii-Hab to Wii Fit and Beyond
Bryce Taylor, MS, PT.
Using Wii in clinical practice for rehabilitation. He mainly uses games compatible with the WIi Balance Board (use Wii Fit & Wii Fit Plus).
This presentation was done by one of the self-proclaimed pioneers of this “Wiihabilitation”. A large percentage of physical therapists are currently using it for some of the following: Injury prevention, analysis, corrective exercise, research, athletic conditioning. Applications can be used for stroke patients through to athletes with modifications to make it easier or harder depending on the needs of the individual. Modifications can be made by using different equipment (Swiss ball, bosu, stability trainers, tilt board etc.) in conjunction with the Wii balance board. The balance board acts as a force plate. For example a plank can be done using Halo bars on a stability ball on the Wii balance board.
Benefits: Affordable, Advantageous, Affable (fun), Available
Targets: Stability, neuromuscular control, functional training, core strengthening

Hello from Halifax!

The Closing Ceremony Nears
By Michele Walker, SIRC

In a few days time (Sunday, February 27 to be exact), the Closing Ceremony for the 2011 Canada Winter Games will be held at 1 p.m. (local time) at the Halifax Metro Centre. The televised show will celebrate the achievements of the Games, creating an incredibly festive atmosphere and featuring performances as unique as the 2,700 athletes who were participating in the Games.

But how is the Closing Ceremony so different from the Opening Ceremony? Well, technically, it’s not really. There is music and flags and speeches and traditions honoured. There is a production schedule and television broadcasts. There are ticket holders, and athletes, and distinguished guests. At the Opening Ceremony there is also that tumultuous build-up along with the hopes for a trouble and incident free two weeks of competition and organization. There is that unwritten pre-cursor that if the Opening goes well, the Games will go well. Go party, have fun (but not too much) then get serious and back to business! That’s a lot of pressure for everyone involved.

But the great thing about the Closing Ceremony is that it has so much more of a relaxed celebratory feeling. That feeling you get when you survived a high pressure situation (especially for the organizers), and the athletes truly have the pressure off of them now. Everyone gets to cherish their results and more importantly, the new friends they made from across the country. The Closing Ceremony just seems to be more fun for everyone involved, more relaxed and dare we say, actually a bit more enjoyable.

And with that comes the sadness that it’s time for everyone to leave. The curtain is drawn. The Games are now history. Only to do it again in two years time at the 2013 Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Quebec!

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

Who Rocks The House? BC Rocks the House!
By Team BC Mission Staff

That has been the recurring chant throughout the week-and-a-half that we have been competing at the Canada Winter Games. Accompanied by the waving of the popular scarves bearing the same slogan, along with a variety of noisemakers thoughtfully provided to the parents and fans of Team BC’s athletes, the words have been resonating around the venues. We wouldn’t say that is the reason that Team BC was farther ahead in the medal and flag point standings at the end of Week One than it was four years ago in Whitehorse. But it sure hasn’t hurt!

For most of the athletes this is their first experience of competing at a multi-sport Games, and they are taking the opportunity to get out to cheer on their fellow Team BC athletes. Our boxers have become some of Team BC’s most visible and vocal cheerleaders, and were instrumental in changing the usually staid atmosphere at table tennis.

Besides answering the question posed by our Games hosts, “What will you bring?” with solid performances by its athletes, Team BC also answered, “We are bringing the warmth of our hearts”, in the form of its legacy project, “Hands Across the Country”.

On the anniversary of the opening of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler Team BC held a media conference to present the hundreds donated items of warm clothing it had collected in BC, to the Boys & Girls Club of East Dartmouth. It was Team BC’s way of demonstrating its social responsibility.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Hello from Halifax!

Investing in the Pursuit of Excellence
by Pat Lechelt, Chef de Mission, Team Alberta
It was a remarkable opening week of competition at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax – Team Alberta racked up 39 medals, with 11 of them earned on the second day!

I am very proud of our athletes, and proud that the Government of Alberta has supported them by investing in international standard facilities at the Canmore Nordic Centre and Canada Olympic Park.

The investment in these Olympic legacy venues has paid dividends for Team Alberta’s young biathletes who swept the podium in all of the individual men’s races. Leading the charge was our flag bearer Scott Gow, taking home gold in all four of his races. In all, Alberta’s biathletes took the podium 11 times.

Week one success spread beyond the biathlon range. Speed skaters sprinted to 10 medals around the outdoor Oval,and our freestyle skiers showed great form with four podium finishes. Undefeated throughout the round-robin, ringette takes home silver, and women’s curling throws for gold tonight against BC. Alberta’s hockey men kept their medal streak alive as the only team to have medaled in six consecutive editions of the Games after a bronze medal win over BC.

Stay tuned for more great performances in week 2 for Team Alberta!

Get connected with Team Alberta at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax on Facebook . The Facebook page highlights athlete performances, photos, quotes, and provides information on Team Alberta’s progress in its quest for the podium.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

Nova Scotia vying for the Centennial Cup!
by Your Team Nova Scotia Mission Staff

The first week of competition has ended and our week two athletes have arrived and are ready for competition. The first week of the games has been fantastic on all levels. Sportsmanship, gamesmanship and good old maritime hospitality are in abundance and Team Nova Scotia athletes have performed extremely well. The first week brought many personal bests, best ever finishes in team and individual competition and of course our first two medals of the Games.
Nova Scotia currently sits atop the Centennial Cup rankings with a point change of plus 12. With one week to go, Team Nova Scotia has the opportunity to secure the cup for the host province. The Centennial Cup exemplifies the spirit of the Canada Games. Forged from parts of 37 precious metals and wood laminations representing 10 provinces and three territories, the Centennial Cup is presented to the provincial or territorial team that shows the greatest improvement from one Winter (or Summer) Games, to the next.

Donated to the Canada Games by the City of Kingston, Ontario in 1970, the Centennial Cup has been won by 10 different provinces and territories since it was first added to the Games in 1971. It is awarded based on the point difference for each province in each sport, combined to give an overall measure of change. The province with the greatest positive change is the victor.

Best of luck to our athletes competing this week along with our friends from across the country.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

My Experience at the Canada Winter Games
By Marcia Filgiano, Squash, Team Quebec

A week ago today I flew into Halifax with Team Quebec feeling slightly nervous, a little tired, but most of all excited. Many people had told me that the Canada Winter Games are a one-of-a-kind, exhilarating experience and, after a week, I can truly say that the Games have met and surpassed my expectations.

As a squash player, very few people know or understand my sport: after the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night, I felt like my performance was important in the Games and I truly felt like one of Canada’s top athletes.

Although competing every day becomes very tiring, the cafeteria is always open to us whether it is for “grazing” food, a salad, or a hardy hot meal. In addition, the warm and welcoming groups of volunteers are always around and they help organize many activities such as ice cream socials, movie nights, dances, concerts, and much more.

My favourite part of the CWG so far has been meeting all the athletes and artists from around Canada. I have met many players competing in various sports and I have created bonds that I believe I will never forget. It is a phenomenal experience and traveling as a team, cheering on every player, and wearing the Quebec colours have truly made me proud to be Canadian and to participate in the Canada Winter Games.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

By Brandie Adams, SIRC Reference Librarian

The action at the Canada Games is happening everywhere. Whether you are in the stands watching hockey, at the Canada Games Centre watching gymnastics or at Ski Wentworth catching up on freestyle skiing great sport can be seen. There are also concerts, forums, receptions and more to provide the Canada Games community the opportunity to meet and share ideas.

Tuesday night CAAWS hosted a reception for women in sport and physical activity. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. The room was packed with people in support. While there SIRC had the opportunity to catch up with members of the Canada Games Council and AthletesCAN. One highlight was chatting with Kyle Shewfelt, the 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist in Artistic Gymnastics Floor Exercise. If you have the opportunity to meet Kyle you should take it. He is currently an AthletesCan ambassador but is also a speaker and momentum coach.

The first week is coming to an end. You can feel that Halifax has embraced the Canada Games and there are signs of it everywhere. Huge posters on sidewalks and buildings, recognizable swag of volunteers, Canada Games staff and Team clothing (especially Team Manitoba in black/yellow/white retro) can be seen on the streets. It can be heard around the city how friendly everyone is and how great the volunteers are. The East Coast is keeping up their reputation at being a welcoming host.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

(Photo compliments of Canada Games)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

Change is Imminent
by Michele Walker, SIRC

When a city is awarded the Canada Games, there is no doubt change is imminent.

Businesses stock up on more supplies. Staff get extra hours. Hotels are fully booked at a time of year that most would not be. There are more flights in and out of your city.

Schools change their schedule. In fact, one of the biggest changes affects everyone in the entire region. Moving the school spring break to February and closing schools for an additional week follows the practice for previous Winter Games. The last three provinces and territories to host the games -- New Brunswick (2003), Yukon (2007) and Newfoundland and Labrador (1999) -- moved March break and closed schools in the host region to accommodate the Games. To ensure students in the Halifax region do not lose valuable class time in 2011, the school year started early and will end late going through to June 30, 2011. Christmas break was shortened, and one teacher professional development day had to be rescheduled.

But the most interesting ‘change’ is that of ‘change over’ day in the middle of the Games. Unique to multi-sporting events in the world is the fact that the Canada Games hosts half its sports in Week One and the other half in Week Two. This means that missions staffs have to be moving athletes in and out of the host city twice. Those athletes who enjoyed the Opening Ceremony are not even in town to attend the Closing Ceremony, which is enjoyed by the Week Two sport athletes. The Local Organizing Committee in Halifax has to reset venues for a whole new batch of sports, set up new venues, and not to mention the complete cleaning of the Athlete’s Village top to bottom so it’s as fresh and clean as it can be and ready to host a whole new group of athletes and coaches.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

Designing the medals for the Canada Games!
by Michele Walker, SIRC

Besides competing for the Canada Games Flag as a proud member of the winning province at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia, it’s fair to say that most athletes really want to win a medal. Gold, of course, is best. But there are times when circumstances dictate that winning the bronze or silver medal, can feel like gold! Maybe an athlete is sick on competition day, didn’t sleep well, is just coming off an injury, or just got beat by a better competitor that day – no matter the circumstances, making the podium can be so rewarding. So truth be told, winning a medal of any colour really is the highest achievement for an athlete at the Canada Games. In Halifax, over 1065 medals will be awarded throughout the 18 days of competition.

But before medals of any colour can be awarded, they first have to be designed. In Canada Games tradition, there is an open competition to design the medals for the Games. Not an easy task really, as potential designers have to take into consideration the unique nature, theme, culture and spirit of Nova Scotia and the 2011 Games themselves. After 90 submissions were received by the Host Society, the design of two Halifax university students Marlon Solis and Amber Whyley, was chosen and the medals were unveiled on August 16, 2010. The distinctive shape of the medals represents the beauty of the province, which has been shaped by the sea. The design features an etched theme depicting interlocking athletic figures in motion to convey athletic spirit, unity and diversity and includes a ribbon loop inspired by the gates of the Halifax Public Gardens.

The 2011 Games medals for the Halifax Games were produced by Charm Diamond Centres, who also made the medals for the 2003 Games in Bathurst, New Brunswick, and the 2001 Canada Games in London, Ontario.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

Team Sask Canada Winter Games 2011
by Briana Bolduc, Team Saskatchewan Mission Staff

We are about halfway through the first week of the 2011 Canada Winter Games and boy is it an experience. My name is Briana Bolduc and I am Mission Staff for Team Sask. This is my first time ever experiencing the Games and I thought I would share my perspective as a newcomer.

This week has been a blur. We do not count the days by the date or what day of the week it is, but rather what day of the Games it is. When people outside of the Games are excited about the weekend, we do not even realize that it is no longer the work week. When they start the work week, it still feels like the weekend.

The people of Nova Scotia are amazing; we get honks, waves, and people stopping us on the street to tell us how great our jackets look. (Yes, they are pretty cool.) I have been welcomed to the city by a countless number of people. I would like to say on behalf of Team Sask that we feel very much at home in Halifax, thank you.

We have had a few hard fought losses so far, but also a few wins. As of right now we have two medals in Target Shooting; gold and silver. Our athletes are fighting hard and being amazing ambassadors of Saskatchewan.

So far I am having a great experience. Halifax is doing a great job in hosting!

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

Celebrating Nova Scotia Day!
by Brandie Adams, SIRC Reference Librarian

Today was Nova Scotia Day and what a day it was! The Games started early with Artistic Gymnastics, Biathlon, Curling, Freestyle skiing, Hockey, Long Track Speed Skating, Ringette, Short Track Speed Skating, Squash, Target Shooting and Wheelchair Basketball all competing around the city.

In the evening “Celebration Square at Night” was alive as crowds of people streamed into the Square to show their love for the province. Everyone cheered for the Canada Games athletes who medaled today as they took centre stage. This was just a warm up for Joel Plaskett & The Emergency, a well-known group from Halifax. JPE set the bar very high for the shows that will take place in Celebration Square over the next few weeks.

Tonight also kicked off the professional development series at Coach House. Gary Ness spoke to coaches about the National Coaching Institute. Additional speakers for this week include Mark Smith, Wayne Parro, Ken Bagnell and Sheilagh Croxon.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Hello from Halifax!

The Canada Games Loves Venue Legacies!
by Michele Walker, SIRC

One of lasting legacies of hosting a Canada Games is the venue legacy left behind for the local and area residents.

The $45-million Canada Games Centre in Halifax, an aquatic and recreation facility, which is hosting badminton, gymnastics (artistic) and synchronized swimming, is another one of the showcase venues of the Games. In the future, it will be the all-important venue for athletes to train in the Maritimes, and a new place for area residents to engage in recreational activities. The facility has more than 185,000 square feet of recreation space, including an 8-lane pool, a leisure pool (with slides), a 200m indoor running track and 4 full-sized gymnasium courts.

The Canada Games Oval in Halifax, the 400m outdoor long-track speed skating track, is one of the marquee venues, and has already been used recreationally for close to 65,000 Halifax residents during public skates prior to the Games. As a testament to its quality and fast ice, at least 10 speed skaters broke Canada Games records right out of the gate as competition began this past Saturday. More records fell Sunday, with new marks being set - in the 1st round of the Men’s 500m and the Women’s 1000m, the top five skaters in each, broke the existing Canada Games records. Despite the fact the Oval at Halifax Common was initially constructed as a temporary facility, its popularity with the public has put a hold on the original plans to dissemble it after the Games. How great would it be if it could be kept as a permanent recreational facility and a permanent legacy for Halifax!?

And 7000 km from Halifax, to the far north-west corner of Canada, the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse built for the 2007 Games in the Yukon, is not only a much-needed first rate competition and recreational facility, it has become a local meeting place. The facility was front and centre on CBC TV Sports' Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada this past Saturday.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

by Brandie Adams, SIRC Reference Librarian

Today was a great day at the 2011 Halifax Canada Games. The athletes experienced fast times at the Canada Games Oval. Was it the sun? Was it the fabulous crowd? Was it the warm weather? Does it matter? It was a fantastic time with people surrounding the oval, filling the stands and standing on the snowbanks outside the gates to catch a glimpse of the long track skaters.

The same could be seen at the wheelchair basketball games held at Citadel High School. During the Quebec-Saskatchewan game the crowd was making lots of noise for the athletes. You could see teams from other provinces in the stands cheering their fellow athletes on. What a great display of sportsmanship.

Currently SIRC is busy at Coach House with people stopping by at the end of the day. One theme that is emerging is they are interested in coach development and continuing education (and having fun at the end of their long day).

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Hello from Halifax!

The loudest and the proudest!
by Team PEI, Canada Games 2011

PEI may not top the medal table in Halifax – two or three of any colour would be nice – but there is no prouder group of athletes here competing in Halifax.

The excitement generated by our group has been unbelievable so far. From a high energy athletes rally last week to Thursday’s departure right through to yesterday’s Opening Ceremony, Island athletes have been singing and celebrating like no other. The smiles have not left their faces.

One of the most popular items has been the PEI vuvuzela. The scourge of TV viewers during the soccer World Cup, the vuvu has added an extra dimension to the energy and dynamism of PEI athletes. Already they are a hot trading item and our athletes our holding out for the highest prices!

A word from PEI too on the outstanding Opening Ceremonies, and a big well done to the Host Society on the great job so far. We are having a great time, are looking forward to the competition, and making the friendships that we know will be forged over the next two weeks.

A word of warning though – we may be small, but we are mighty, and Team PEI, behind the smiles and the laughter, is here to give its all. Nothing will be left behind on the field of play.

Long live the Canada Games!

Check out SIRC's Canada Games webpage for more information!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hello From Halifax!

by Brandie Adams, SIRC Reference Librarian

The SIRC Mobile Resource Centre is up and running at Coach House in the Delta Barrington. Partnering with Coaches of Canada our goal is to connect with Canada Games coaches by providing a fantastic lounge for them to use over the next few weeks. To help make this happen Wayne Parro (Coaches of Canada) and Brandie Adams (SIRC) headed to the Chef de Mission meeting early this morning to raise awareness of Coach House and the resources they could access.

What is available at Coach House?
  • Coaching publications from FIT, Routledge, HK, CAAWS,
  • Meeting area (comfortable chairs, couches and tables)
  • Wireless!
  • Coaches of Canada information
  • TVs (follow what's happening around the world)
  • SIRC Reference Librarian to answer questions
  • Coaches of Canada speaker series (to be announced soon)
With Wayne or Brandie around there is often lively conversation. This afternoon we had a great chat with a NB Coach on continuing education programs for coaches in Canada. We hope that you stop by to visit the Coach House.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games 2011 webpage for more information!

Hello From Halifax!

“The gold is in the experience, not the medal.”
ByYour Team Nova Scotia Mission Staff

Wise words spoken by one of our Team Nova Scotia mission staffers, Ed Matchett. This quote certainly must resonate with all of you now that the moment you’ve been imagining through all of those long, grueling practices has finally arrived.

Last night’s opening ceremonies left us all feeling proud to be Nova Scotian. With our flags flying, the sea of deep royal blue uniforms, and the loud cheers for our home team, you certainly had us excited to showcase all of you as host province. We thought our flag bearer, Ryan Falkenham, did an excellent job leading our team into the Metro Centre, and Chad Hagen and Brittany Avery, along with coaches Neill Evans and Christina Swett, delivered the Games’ oaths with absolute enthusiasm.

Welcome to 2011 Canada Winter Games. We hope you enjoy this thrilling experience.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games 2011 webpage for more information!

Hello From Halifax!

by Brandie Adams - SIRC Reference Librarian

"Some of you are posed for glory but we can not know who; not the champions or the victory dances which will ensue. Already tonight some athletes are organizing strategies; it takes desire of a certain kind to get to these finish lines. " – Tania Davis

Let the Games Begin! Friday night was celebration night in Halifax with the Opening Ceremonies of the Canada Games. There was electricity in the air as the crowd prepared for the athletes to enter the Halifax Metro Centre. Host, Rich Aucoin kept the crowd going as athletes and coaches from 13 provinces and territories entered the arena. Once everyone settled down (as much as they could) Stephen Harper declared the Games officially opened.

The positive atmosphere following the Ceremonies rolled on to the downtown streets. Leaving the Metro Centre you could hear echoes from people chanting for their home province or territory.

Great things are sure to come over the next two weeks!

Check out SIRC's Canada Games 2011 webpage for more information!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hello from Halifax!

It's time to shine
by Chris Morrissey Chief Executive Officer – 2011 Canada Winter Games Host Society

Opening day. Wow. For many of us, it’s been a long time coming, to say the least. Seems like yesterday we were getting our Board of Directors in place and choosing our venues.

But now, the athletes have arrived, the dress rehearsals are done, and the chefs and mission teams are already hard at work.

Staff and volunteers have taken their responsibilities very seriously – from developing the sport schedule, fitting out our venues, to lining up talent for Celebration Square. It’s been tough slogging – countless hours of overtime and literally thousands of meetings and planning documents. But I’m so proud of the team.

The past few weeks, we’ve felt the city come alive. Signage is up, volunteers are ready. The Oval has brought people together in a way that nobody expected.

I think we’ve raised the bar in many ways, as the host for the 2011 Games, and we can’t wait to showcase our work to the athletes and spectators.

Bring on the athletes. We’re ready to host the country. We’re ready to shine.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games 2011 webpage for more information!

Hello from Halifax!

Canada Games 2011 Kick Off
by Michele Walker, SIRC

After many years in the planning, the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Nova Scotia gets kicked off tonight with its Opening Ceremony which will be held in the Halifax Metro Centre.

About 3,200 athletes from 800 Canadian communities will compete over the next 16 days in 22 sports. A unique aspect of the Canada Games is how it splits its sports programs into two separate weeks. In Week 1, there will be 11 sports taking place consisting of about 1,500 athletes. In Week 2, there will be 12 sports and an estimated 1,800 athletes. Halifax also expects that over the next two weeks there will be 7,000 to 10,000 visitors, who are expected to come and cheer the athletes on.

The Canada Winter Games has a budget of $46 million. Many of the 13 competition venues are in downtown Halifax, but the biathlon, cross-country skiing and snowboarding events will be held at Ski Martock ,while freestyle and alpine skiing are at Ski Wentworth. Ringette will be played at Cole Harbour Place, with short-track speedskating and figure skating at the St. Margaret’s Centre in Upper Tantallon, and target shooting and archery at Sackville High. Curling events will be hosted by the Mayflower Curling Club.

For tonight’s Opening Ceremony, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will speak to the Halifax Metro Centre crowd, and Halifax native JRDN, an R&B singer and former St. Francis Xavier basketball star will sing the national anthem with francophone artist Elyse Delaney. Tonight’s two-hour event will be broadcast live on TSN2. The Closing Ceremony on February 27 at 1 p.m. will also be held at the Halifax Metro Centre, and will be shown on TSN. The budget for the two entertainment ceremonies is about $600,000.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games 2011 webpage for more information!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

SIRC is on its way to Halifax!

SIRC is excited to be attending the 2011 Canada Games in Halifax. As Canada’s National Sport Library, we will be there with the SIRC Mobile Resource Centre providing athletes, coaches, parents, officials and the media with access to the latest sport resources. Our Reference Librarian, Brandie Adams, will be on-hand to showcase the resources available at SIRC and answer questions.

We have some fantastic things for you to explore!
  • On the ground, the SIRC Mobile Resource Centre will be in the Coach House in the Delta Barrington. Developing Sport Expertise, Ethics of Sports Coaching, Living in the Sweet Spot, Rethinking The Olympics, and Women on Boards are just a few of the resources that will be available from Fitness Information Technology, Routledge, Human Kinetics, and CAAWS. We will also have Wind Chill and Concussion cards available from SIRC and
  • Online, follow the SIRC Blog, Twitter and Facebook pages for updates throughout the event. You may have received the Canada Games SIRC Newsletter, if not check it out! Look for daily athlete and ambassador bios in SIRC’s Emailservice and be sure to check out SIRC’s Canada Games webpage for even more resources!
Keep an eye out for Brandie. When she is not at the Resource Centre, she will be attending events and cheering the athletes on throughout the Games. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to stop her and ask.

Hello from Halifax!

2011 Canada Games Preview
From the Canada Games Council ...

The Canada Games begin long before the athletes arrive in Halifax. The Canada Games Council has several initiatives that celebrate the history of the Canada Games. Two of which that lead up to any particular Games are the Past Community Engagement Program and the Canada Games Hall of Honour.

In an effort to get all the communities who have hosted the Canada Games in the past be involved with the upcoming Canada Games in Halifax, the Council, in an attempt to spread the excitement for the Games even further, implemented the Canada Games Flag Tour. The premise is that the official Canada Games flag, the same flag that is awarded to the top province or territory at the end of the Canada Games, would visit each past host community and eventually make its way to Halifax.

So on December 3rd, the flag started its journey in Whitehorse, Yukon and worked its way East across Canada toward Halifax. The flag remained in each community for three days, celebrating the legacies the Canada Games left behind in their community during several receptions and events, before being sent to the next community.

Each province and territory received the flag before it arrived in Halifax on February 9th, in time to be carried into the Opening Ceremonies for the 2011 Canada Games.

Another way the Canada Games recognizes its past is with the Canada Games Hall of Honour. The Hall recognizes exceptional Canada Games alumni who have distinguished themselves as athletes, coaches, officials or administratiors.

The Canada Games Hall of Honour was initiated as part of the 40th Anniversary Legacy of the Canada Games in 2007. Nominees are inducted every Games year (every two years). The first induction in 2007 celebrated the achievements of long time Canada Games Council Chairman Jack Pelech. In 2009, the Hall welcomed seven new members, including Olympic Gold medalists Cassie Campbell and Dave “Eli” MacEachern.

When the nation is watching Canada’s next generation of national, international and Olympic champions for the next 18 days in Halifax, remember that there is a great Canada Games history that is celebrated every day.

Check out SIRC's Canada Games 2011 webpage for more information!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2011 Canada Games

The 2011 Canada Winter Games start in just 3 days time with the Opening Ceremony slated for Friday, 12 February 2011 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And wow, how far the Games have come! It all started in the winter of 1967 in Quebec City as part of Canada's Centennial celebrations, when 1800 athletes from 10 provinces and two territories joined together in what was to become the first of many of the largest multi-sport competitions for young athletes in Canada. 2011 will be the 23rd Canada Games, alternating between winter and summer every 2 years.

Besides being a national celebration for sport and culture, the Canada Games provide that all important stepping stone and experience in the development of athletes in the Canadian sports system. Since 1967, over 100,000 athletes have participated in the Games with hundreds of thousands having been involved in try-outs and qualifying events. For some, it’s the highlight of their athletic career, while for others, it’s just the beginning.

Of course the athletes receive medals, but as a provincial or territorial team, they compete for all the marbles, which is the Canada Games Flag. Points are awarded in every sport based on performance and participation and the team with the greatest number of points from all events is declared the champion and presented with the Canada Games Flag. Team Ontario has practically owned the Canada Games Flag since the beginning, winning all but four Flags (Quebec has won the Flag three times in 1975, 1979, 2003, and British Columbia won it once in 1973).

The legacy the Games leave is not just for the athletes, but for the city that hosts the events. Over 300 new and existing sports venues have benefited from hosting a Canada Games, with 500 venues being upgraded to national standards so that they may host other national and world class events.

Join in on the celebration of the Games this year (schedule)! In addition to the television broadcast coverage on TSN and RDS, for the first time ever, the Canada Games will also feature live webstreaming coverage for the majority of the sports on the program.

For more information on the Canada Games check out SIRC’s Canada Games 2011 page.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Instant messaging programs such as Skype, text-messaging, Facebook, email, and MSN messenger, just to name a few, are some of the media which has entered our lives to facilitate communication between people. Our lives get more connected everyday and CMC (Computer-Mediated-Communication) is not something that will be leaving our society any time soon.

What does this mean for the coach-athlete relationship? CMC media brings obvious improvements to coach-athlete communication, as they are able to interact more efficiently, more effectively and more closely than ever before. But it can also bring on challenges, especially in the area of ethics.

Some of the questions that may come up are: Should my athlete and I be friends on Facebook? What do I do if my athlete adds me to MSN? What if I see a picture of my athlete engaging in illegal behavior? These are all situations which might blur the lines of coach-athlete interactions. If your sport organization doesn’t have a policy on coach-athlete interactions, it is recommended that every coach set his or her own personal standards for managing these new methods of communication. One example that the author gives us is; if you reject a Facebook friend request from one player, then you need to reject the friend requests from all your players. Each coach and each situation will be approached differently, but being aware is the first step.

Keeping an open communication platform with your athletes is important, but keeping the lines from becoming blurry is up to you. Ensure to make your standards clear to avoid any confusion and if the situation becomes too difficult to handle on your own, there is help. The most important thing is to guide discussions in a setting that fosters mutual respect and that will allow you to maintain a positive coaching environment.

Reference from the SIRC collection:
Lawrie, K. (2010). Computer-Mediated Communication - A Caution for Coaches. Coaches Plan/Plan du Coach, 17(1), 10-55.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Guide to Adventure Travel

Travel and sport are often used together when thinking of traveling for the next hockey or basketball tournament. But now more than ever, adventure sport enthusiasts are combining their love of sport and travel and turning it into a winning combination.

A recent article about adventure travel from the SIRC Collection gives the readers the basics everyone will need to have a safe and successful adventure. Some of the tips that every active traveler should adhere by are:
  • Never get caught empty-pocketed: If you were separated from your gear, boat, guide or food, would you be able to survive with what’s in your pocket? These aren’t likely scenarios, but keep it in mind next time you’re going rafting or camping in a remote location.
  • Pack like a pro: No matter what kind of trip you’re taking, you’re probably packing too much. Try and lighten your load by packing smarter and really thinking about where you are going.
  • Dog or no Dog?: It depends on the trip, the owner and the dog’s temperament. Planning on going rafting, skiing, hiking/camping or biking? Each of these activities have risks for dogs so be smart and think about the health and safety of you and your four legged friend. Having a dog around during these activities can be great but ensure your trip mates are ok with the extra passenger!
  • Medic! Do yourself and your trip-mates a favour and get some medical training. Even a basic first aid course can help with the first response after a fall on the slopes, a sting from a stingray or a cut on the hand.
  • Additional travel insurance: Assess the type of trip you’re taking and decide what type of insurance is best for you. Are you going snorkeling and doing some day hikes? Will you be mountain-biking, rafting and trekking? Or are you headed somewhere remote and dangerous or going mountain climbing? All of these scenarios might have a chance of injury so it’s best to be prepared. The last thing you want is to seek medical attention and be stuck with a bill that you can’t afford.
These are just a few tips to keep your travels fun and safe. In order to stay active and healthy you need to challenge yourself and keep an open mind. Mountain climbing in the Rockies, rafting the Colorado River or Skiing the Alps isn’t for everyone, but you can find something for everyone when it comes to adventure travel!

Reference from the SIRC collection:
Reimers, Fredrick. (2011). The Hero’s Handbook. Outside, 36(2), 42-49.