Thursday, October 27, 2011

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Leads World Judo Day

Photo courtesy Judo Canada
“Respect” is the theme for the first ever “World Judo Day” scheduled for Friday, October 28, 2011. An initiative of the International Judo Federation, judo organizations of all levels all over the world will dedicate this day to promoting global awareness on the values of the sport of judo and its education system.  A sport foundation that rests on the building blocks of respect was the greatest legacy left by its founder, Master Jigoro Kano, when he created judo in 1882.

As outlined by Judo Canada, the values associated with the sport shape its organizational culture, their management philosophy, and govern and guide the way of their actions. Beyond ultimate respect for others, Judo Canada, along with the global judo community also recognizes at the highest level:
  • Fair play and sportsmanship
  • Integrity
  • Competing in a safe environment
  • Positive and valuable leadership
  • Opportunity to participate coast to coast in Canada
Kelita Zupancic (CAN)
Photo courtesy Judo Canada
October 28 was the birthday of Jigoro Kano and from this year going forward, this day has been claimed “World Judo Day” - the annual global day of awareness for judo and its values. With 200 national federations and five continental Unions, over 20 million people participate in judo on a daily basis in every corner of the planet. From high level athletes and coaches to small clubs and groups, judo is recognized as more than just a sport. World Judo Day can be celebrated in any way from a conference, competition, extraordinary news day, a special training session, or an open house.  Judo’s contribution as an educational tool demonstrates to everyone on how they can live their lives with others respectfully in harmony.

For more information on respect in sport, please contact SIRC.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Networking is also Face-to-Face!

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is, on average, about six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth. The ability to successfully network in the sports world is a talent on its own, and is one that is a necessary component to supporting a career in coaching, sports administration, communications or marketing, along with many more areas. The world is a much smaller place now due to the advents of technology, and there is an entire generation who do not understand the value of face-to-face networking. So exactly what is this and how do you do it?

First of all, a network is the web of people that you know, like and respect, and not just a measure of social distance between people. The more people you know and connect with, the more far-reaching your network will extend. Powerful networking skills are not to be underestimated, giving you an edge in any job market. When done properly, networking can be an influential tool that will put you in contact with the right people at the right time which will ultimately assist you in making your career path soar! There is significant value in meeting new people at sports competitions, conferences and meetings. 

Like all worthy relationships, a network of friends and colleagues needs to be maintained and nurtured. It is important to not hide behind your computer and text messaging every day and get out there to actually meet people face-to-face. This will pay off in the long run!

Some key tips to successful networking include:

  • Stay in touch with people you like even if they can’t help you right now.
  • When at a function, make efforts to speak with people you don’t know. Sit at a table to eat with strangers. Do not cling to your friends and colleagues.
  • Really listen when someone is speaking with you and cue off their comments to keep the conversation going. Ask open ended questions.
  • Remember a person’s name using it frequently during your conversation. They like this.
  • Utilize your passion about a topic to share a story. Your energy will be infectious.
  • If you are extremely shy, do not let this handcuff you. Seek some guidance to find the right tools for you to overcome this.
For more information on networking and careers in sport, please visit SIRC.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Canadian Athletes Continue to Lead by Example

When you pull in a cool couple million dollars plus per year in salary and sponsorship, like many professional athletes do, it’s relatively easy to share the wealth. But despite the fact that many of Canada’s high performance amateur athletes live well below the poverty line for most of their athletic careers, they continue to lead by example and give back. Time is as valuable as money. The presence of an Olympian at an event can most certainly create excitement and encourage others to give more of their time and hopefully even their money to a worthy cause.

For example, in a few days time, a group of approximately 40 national team and Olympic athletes will be donating their time and fund-raising efforts to the United Way of Canada, by taking part in the Enbridge CN Tower Climb in downtown Toronto. Joining 2008 Olympic high jumper and 2010 Commonwealth Games champion Nicole Forrester on the 1776 grueling steps to the top will be Olympic champion kayaker Adam van Koeverden, Olympic silver medalist bobsledder Shelley-Ann Brown, and Paralympic cross-country skier Tyler Mosher, to name just a few.

Another charity that benefits significantly from an Olympic presence are the Ronald McDonald House’s across the country, who are often visited by World figure skating champion Patrick Chan, Olympic champion hockey player Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Olympic silver medalist diver Alexandre Despatie.

Canadian-based Right to Play is an international humanitarian organization that utilizes athletes to serve as global ambassadors who go into some of the most disadvantaged regions of the planet to improve health, foster peace for children and develop life skills through sport and play programs.

These are just a few shining examples of how Canadian athletes continue to lead by example, in so many facets of life.

For more information on sports related charities, please visit SIRC.

SIRC Newsletter - Volunteering

Volunteers are critical to the success of sport and recreation! Appreciating our volunteers and providing well managed programming and tools will assist in the retention and positive experience for everyone involved. Typically volunteers feel a strong identification with the activity, a passion for giving back and want to make a meaningful contribution. How do organizations keep people coming back? From local clubs to national organizations, recruiting, managing and retaining volunteers can be difficult and daunting but there are tools out there to help.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Analyzed By The Wind

One of the most vital fundamentals of sport is the science that goes into producing an Olympic athlete. Teams of experts must all work in tandem to coordinate the best path to success. For those sports where incredibly high rates of speed, position in the air and friction are involved, such as alpine skiing, skeleton/luge, speed skating, ski jumping and swimming, part of the technological scientific advances include the use of wind tunnel testing.  A wind tunnel is a research tool used in aerodynamic research to study the effects of air moving past solid objects. Normally reserved for the automobile industry, wind tunnels are a research tool whose information can find a millisecond advantage – the difference between gold and everyone else.

Erik Guay (CAN)
 Photo credit: AUDI AG
In previous decades, Canadian athletes used the NRC Institute for Aerospace Research in Ottawa to test their aerodynamic technique and equipment. Just a few weeks ago, the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, were involved in testing at one of the most modern wind tunnels in the world.  The Audi Wind Tunnel Centre, based at Audi’s European headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, hosted the Canadian team for the first time ever.  Intelligence gathered during these sessions allows engineers to measure real time drag co-efficient data for such things as the new speed suits that the team will sport this season. Other important essentials of the sport that were analyzed were the aerodynamic qualities of racing positions, goggles, helmets, gloves, boots and skis. This data in turn assists the coaches in making important corrections and providing valuable feedback to the athletes.

Such world-leading research services will provide the Canadian team many advantages as they start the 2011-2012 International Ski Federation (FIS) season, which opens this weekend in Soelden, Austria.

For more information on the science of sport, please visit SIRC.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

¡Fiesta de las Americas!

In four years time, Canada will be hosting the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The local organizing committee, Toronto2015, is already hard at work preparing the venues and logistics for this immense event. Canada has hosted the Pan American Games twice—both times in Winnipeg (1967, 1999).

Photo credit: Mike Ridewood / COC 
But in just 24 hours time, the 2011Pan American Games will begin in Guadalajara, Mexico, the city referred to as the “Pearl of the West”, and known for its’ culture, theatre and museums.  This is the third time Mexico has hosted these Games, making them the first country to three-peat (1955 and 1975 were the first two times). The 2011 Games with their motto Fiesta de las Americas (The Americas' Party), will be the largest multi-sport event of this year’s sports calendar, with approximately 6,000 athletes from 42 nations expected to participate in 361 events in 36 sports.  Fifteen of the 26 Summer Olympic sports will use the 2011 Pan American Games as a qualifier for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, including handball, canoeing and modern pentathlon to name just a few.

Team Canada is made up of 493 athletes (257 men and 236 women), with all ten provinces and the Northwest Territories represented. The youngest Canadian athlete is Table Tennis player Anqi Luo of Mississauga, Ontario (age 15), and the oldest will be Equestrian veteran, Ian Millar of Perth, Ontario (age 64).

The 2011 Pan American Games will be held from October 14 – 30, with the Parapan American Games (the multi-sport event for athletes with a physical disability) starting on November 12. 

The first Pan American Games took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1951.

For more information on multi-sport events, please visit SIRC.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Olympism is a state of mind

"Olympism is not a system, it is a state of mind. It can permeate a wide variety of modes of expression and no single race or era can claim to have the monopoly of it." Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern day Olympics.

James Worrall (CANADA). A 1936 Olympian.  A flag bearer for his country.  A hurdler. A lawyer. A president of the Canadian Olympic Committee. A member of the International Olympic Committee. A friend. An author. A mentor. A member of the Order of Canada. A Hall of Famer.

And if "Olympism" is a philosophy of life, this was most definitely James Worrall's philosophy. One who combined a balance between quality of life, mind and soul, and had respect for universal ethical principles. One who combined sport with education and culture.

An Olympian in the truest sense of the word. 

The oldest living Canadian Olympian, James Worrall, O.C., B.Sc., LL.B., Q.C. passed away this week at the age of 97.

We honour him.

Once an Olympian, always an Olympian.

 Career Highlights:
  • 1934 British Empire Games (Commonwealth Games), 120-yard hurdles, silver medalist
  • 1936 Olympic Games, 110mH & 400mH
  • Assistant Chef de Mission, Team Canada (1948 & 1952 Olympic Games)
  • Canadian Olympic Association (COA), President (1964–1968); Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Honorary Life President (1989)
  • Amateur Athletic Union of Canada, President (1951-1953)
  • National Advisory Council on Fitness and Amateur Sport (1963-1967)
  • International Olympic Committee (IOC), Member (1967-1989), Executive Board Member (1974-1979), Honorary Member (1989-2011)
  • Order of Canada (1976)
  • Canada Sports Hall of Fame (1987)
  • Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame (1991)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SIRC Newsletter - Physical Education

The broad definition of physical education (PE) is instruction in the development and care of the body incorporating sport and hygiene. PE classes are available any time in life however they are primarily associated with primary and secondary schools and for good reason, 80% of schools provide intramural and interscholastic classes in Canada. There are countless benefits to PE. Children involved in sport do better academically (studies have shown physically active children and those involved in sport score higher in the classroom), develop strong life skills and are less likely to develop severe health problems. This makes it important to ensure classes are as welcoming and inclusive as possible.


Flock to a Turkey Trot

The thought of Canadian Thanksgiving elicits those lingering smells from the kitchen of the turkey roasting and pies in the oven. But before you eat enough calories in one meal that can last you for three days, why not take part in a bit of exercise?

In true Canadian style, on Thanksgiving weekend there are many opportunities throughout the country to fit in a bit of fitness before sitting down to wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.  Doesn’t matter if you are a walker, runner or Nordic skier, why not get the family together and participate in one of these local events. How could you possibly not have a blast together partaking in the “Giblet Jog”, “The Galloping Gobbler” or the “1km Wattle”? Makes you hungry just thinking about it!

From coast to coast, there is an event this weekend to sign up for. In the spirit of giving thanks and giving back, “The Granville Island Turkey Trot” in Vancouver, British Columbia generously donates cash and food to the local food bank. What about “The Gobbler Gallop and Giblet Jog” in London, Ontario, or the “Winkler's Thanks for Giving Half Marathon, 10k & 5k Run” in Winnipeg, Manitoba? For our friends in Alberta, there is the “21st Investors Group Thanksgiving Memory Walk and Run” in Calgary, which draw attention to more and more individuals who become affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementias. In 2010, this event had over 1200 participants and raised over $170,000.

So find a Turkey Trot near you. The weather is going to be amazing and there is no better way to start a family Canadian Thanksgiving tradition.

From the entire team at SIRC, we wish you a safe, enjoyable and fit Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

For more information on nutrition and fitness, please visit SIRC.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Squash Leaders Partner to Produce Champions

Recently, the national governing body for the sport of squash, Squash Canada, announced an agreement with the National Squash Academy (NSA) to create Squash Canada’s National Centre of Excellence.  The union provides a much needed central training base for Canadian National Team members, who will now train under the guidance of Squash Canada’s new Performance Director, Jamie Hickox, one of the most recognizable squash professionals in the world.  Also providing world class coaching at the Academy are Canadians Jonathon Power (former world-ranked #1) and Gary Waite (former world-ranked #12 singles, and #1 hardball doubles player) who were responsible, along with Jaime Nicholls, for building the facility that opened in 2010.

Located in Downsview, Ontario in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), the NSA’s 10-court squash facility has programs for all levels aiming to not only build a broader base of squash players in Canada, but to produce world class players. It includes eight glass back international courts, and an all glass exhibition court with the world’s first all-glass North American doubles court being installed in early 2012.  With over 10,000 square foot of squash stadium, seating for 1500+ people, and an in-house filming studio for streaming and television broadcasts, the NSA is fit to serve as one of North America’s premier event spaces.

Fully aligned with Long Term Athlete Development(LTAD) objectives, the NSA will provide necessary elements for competing athletes to excel, including:
  • Access to world class coaching
  • Dedicated court time for athletes in training
  • World class training and fitness facilities
  • Therapy and rehabilitation services
Open to the public with membership, the NSA will also provide a junior academy for all ages and levels, and community and school programs.

For more information on high performance sport and LTAD, please visit SIRC.

Photo 1: Samantha Cornett (Ottawa), Credits: Darren Adam / Squash Canada
Photo 2: Miranda Ranieri (Waterloo), Credits: Darren Adam / Squash Canada