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Sport Management News at Western


Western University updates on COVID-19

The health and safety of our campus is a shared responsibility. We must take thoughtful and persistent steps to take care of ourselves, each other, and our community. If we all do our part and take precautionary measures, we work together to create a safer and healthier Western community. For ongoing updates from Western, please visit

December 2020

Interview Series: Talk with Western alumnus Dr. Kyle Rich

Dr. Kyle Rich graduated from the Western Sport Management doctoral program in 2017. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Recreation & Leisure Studies at Brock University. Kyle is interested in understanding how communities, policies, and social inclusion/exclusion shape experiences in sport, recreation, and physical activity programs in rural and remote municipalities.

Western Sport Management had a chance to catch up with Kyle on the classes he's teaching at Brock U this academic year, his research projects, and his success with a sourdough starter! Watch the interview here.

Prof. Danylchuk delivers presentations to sport stakeholders in Cuba and India

Prof. Karen Danylchuk delivered a keynote address at the first online event of "Physical Activity and Sports Post-COVID Cubamotricidad 2020" in Cuba. The event was hosted by the Manuel Fajardo University of Physical Culture and Sports Sciences and the Ministry of Higher Education. She also returned to speak as an international expert for the "Physical Education and Community Coaching Program" hosted by The Sports Authority of India, housed at Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education in Thiruvananthapuram.

Prof. Danylchuk's presentations focused on the sport delivery system in Canada. In her talks she discussed the various programs and initiatives that are in place to motivate and keep Canadians physically active pre- and post-COVID.

Doctoral candidate shares thoughts on inclusivity in sport

Darda Sales (PhD Candidate, 2021) is a four-time Paralympian, two-time World Champion, gold and silver medalist, swimming coach, and public speaker. Her research focuses on the athletic development experiences of para athletes.

Darda recently penned her thoughts on inclusion in sport on two forums. She discussed harnessing the power of sport to include differently-abled individuals on the Sport and Development website. She also discussed integration and segregation as means to manage para sport as an everyday part of sport for the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) blog. Congratulations, Darda!

Prof. Doherty shares research project at SMAANZ

The COVID-19 pandemic has moved several activities online, including academic conferences. The Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand (SMAANZ) joined the party and held their annual conference online on Hopin.

Prof. Alison Doherty presented findings of her research project, conducted in collaboration with Dr. Katie Misener (Associate Professor, University of Waterloo) at the 2020 SMAANZ conference. The title of the presentation was, "Examining organizational and contextual variation in community sport clubs' capacity." The abstract for the presentation is available here (see page 20) and the presentation can be viewed online here (presentation begins at the 9:10 mark).

November 2020

Doctoral candidate's work featured on The Conversation

Swarali Patil (PhD Candidate, 2022) is a big fan of tennis, cricket, and basketball. She recently took the opportunity to voice her thoughts about the need for an independent association in professional tennis. Swarali believes tennis players need a third-party to advocate for their health and safety and prize money.

Her work was featured in The Conversation Canada, an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community. Read Swarali's piece here.

Doctoral student shares his work at graduate seminar

Justin Robar (PhD Candidate, 2024) is a first-year doctoral student in the Management & Leadership stream. He is a former rugby player and the sport has played a big role in his personal and academic life. Justin recently presented at the Kinesiology Graduate Seminar and shared his master's research, which catalogued his journey as a rugby player from high school onwards. He spoke about the influence rugby has had on his health and fitness and the opportunities it has brought him, including traveling overseas to volunteer with the Bhubesi Pride Foundation in 2015 and 2019 and using his experiences as a tool to conduct his master's research. Congratulations, Justin!

Read more about the Bhubesi Pride Foundation and see pictures from Justin's time with them here.

October 2020

Interview Series: Talk with Western alumna Dr. Kylie Wasser

Dr. Kylie Wasser graduated from the Western Sport Management doctoral program in 2019. She is currently involved with the Ontario Parasport Collective, a special cohort of organizations from the government and private sector, aimed at increasing participation and finding collaborative solutions between stakeholders involved in Ontario parasport. The Collective received a grant of $2.4 million in 2018 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the largest grant ever awarded, to deliver the province's parasport strategy. Western Sport Management had a chance to catch up with Kylie on her role as Project Lead for the Collective, the changes to the Collective's focus and her role due to the pandemic, and the next steps for Ontario parasport. Watch the interview here.

More information about the Ontario Parasport Collective is available here.

Summer student internship examines the parasport landscape in the Caribbean

Ayham Yassein was a part of the Undergraduate Student Research Internship (USRI) and student MITACS project, completed in collaboration with the Sport and Social Impact Research Group (SSIRG) researchers Dr. Laura Misener, and post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Nancy Quinn and the Commonwealth Games Federation. The project focused on examining the existing capacity, infrastructure, and culture around para sport in the Caribbean.

Ayham developed a comprehensive database of resources and capacity for parasport in Commonwealth Caribbean nations with the objective of completing a multi-level comparative review of each countries’ social context of disability, disability and sporting resource capacity and organisational needs in parasport. The research team used the initial findings to choose five nations to focus on for stage two: Barbados, Bermuda, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Cacos.

In stage two, Dr. Nancy Quinn is interviewing para athletes, coaches, and executives of disability-related organizations to better understand the social and cultural aspects around para sport and disability in the region. Ayham is using his experience from the project to undertake an independent study, examining the relationship between para sport participation in the Caribbean and the social determinants of health.

Dr. Misener leads special Western HOCO webinar

Western Homecoming was held virtually from October 16 to 18 and comprised of various events that brought together Western students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The School of Kinesiology had a special webinar led by Director, Dr. Laura Misener on 'Impacting Health through Exercise and Activity.' Dr. Misener provided a brief history of Kinesiology at Western and an update on the ongoing renovations to Thames Hall.

The webinar also included presentations from members of the Sport and Social Impact Research Group, Dr. Angela Schneider (The Global Impact of the Olympic Movement), Dr. David Howe (Changing the Culture of Physical Activity and Sport), and Dr. Eva Pila (Exercise and Well Being in Challenging Times).

Western alumna featured on SIRC

Western Sport Management alumna, Dr. Patti Millar (PhD, 2015; Assistant Professor, University of Windsor) shared her work on building capacity in community sport organizations through the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC).

The article provides an overview of the research and discusses a strategic approach to capacity building by identifying the reasons to engage in the process, conducting a thorough capacity assessment, selecting the appropriate strategies, considering the readiness of the organization, and evaluating the short and long-term outcomes of capacity building. The full article is available on the

September 2020

Online classes present new learning opportunities

Moving to online sport management courses, as part of the COVID pandemic restrictions in place at Western, has prompted our faculty to invite professors and speakers from other universities and organizations to share their insights with our students. Ms. Moira Lassen, former Board Member of the International Weightlifting Federation and Arctic Winter Games shared her international management experiences with our 4th year students. Dr. Mike Naraine, Assistant Professor at Brock University, lectured on Global Sport Media and its impact on sport as we know it and will come to know it.

Interview Series: Talk with MA candidate Jonathan Femi-Cole

Jonathan Femi-Cole is a second year master's candidate in the Sport Management and Leadership program. He is currently working on developing a widget that allows parents to monitor their children's social media activity. Jonathan has partnered with Western Computer Science to develop this widget, which can be used on mobile devices as well as computers. Western Sport Management had a chance to catch up with Jonathan to learn more about the widget, what inspired the idea, and where he plans to take this next. Watch the interview here.

August 2020

Prof. Doherty interviewed on NASSM podcast

Prof. Alison Doherty was the featured guest on the North American Society for Sport Management's (NASSM) podcast series' titled, 'State of Sport Management,' where she was interviewed by podcast host, Dr. Matt Huml. During the chat, Prof. Doherty discussed theory in sport management; what is theory, its importance to research, and its place within the field of sport management.

To listen to Prof. Doherty on the NASSM podcast, please visit the State of Sport Management page here. More information on NASSM, its annual conference, and publications is available on

Interview Series: Talk with Western alumnus Dr. Brendan Riggin

Dr. Brendan Riggin graduated from the Western Sport Management doctoral program in 2018. He is currently involved with Hockey Fans in Training, a special program aimed at men between the ages of 40 and 60. Hockey FIT has recently expanded its operations and is now focussing its program delivery in British Columbia. Western Sport Management had a chance to catch up with Brendan on the changes to his role and the next steps for Hockey FIT. Watch the interview here.

To learn more about Hockey FIT, please visit the official website here.

June 2020

Lirim Hajrullahu and Mike Bratusa: A special reunion!

Lirim Hajrullahu and Mike Bratusa completed their sport management master's program at Western University in 2015. Mike Bratusa is a talent manager of team sports at Wasserman Media Group. Lirim is a placekicker for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League. Mike and Wasserman Media Group have recently signed Lirim as a marketing client and the 2015 alumni have been reunited!

Lirim competed with the Western Mustangs football team before going pro with the Canadian Football League. He has played with the Winninpeg Blue Bombers, the Toronto Argonauts, and the Hamilton Tiger-cats. Lirim help the Argos win the 105th Grey Cup in 2017 by kicking the game-winning field goal. He will now join the LA Rams from the 2020-2021 season.

Congratulations and best wishes to Lirim and Mike for their continued success.

Interview Series: Talk with Western alumnus Zach Weese

Zach Weese graduated from the Western Sport Management master's program in 2017. He is currently the Manager of Governance and Special Projects for U Sports, the national governing body of university sport in Canada. U Sports recently announced the cancellation of university sport for the Fall 2020 season. Western Sport Management had a chance to catch up with Zach on the changes to his role and the next steps for U Sports. Watch the interview here.

Prof. Danylchuk delivers a training program to coaches in India

The Sports Authority of India, housed at Lakshmibai National College of Physical Education in Thiruvananthapuram, organized a "Physical Education and Community Coaching Programme" to deliver training to 15,000 physical education teachers and community coaches across the country. Prof. Karen Danylchuk was invited to speak at the online event as an international expert.

The title of her presentation was "Sport in Canada: Getting and Keeping Canadians Active." Her topic focussed on the sport delivery system in Canada and the various programs and initiatives that are in place to motivate and keep Canadians physically active. The discussion also centred on how physical education teachers and community coaches can play a leadership role. 

Prof. Doherty presents at ANSER conference online

Prof. Alison Doherty participated in the annual Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research (ANSER) conference, held online from June 3-5, 2020. Prof. Doherty shared findings from her study on social capital in small nonprofit community organizations. Her presentation focussed on bonding (among volunteers who identify their connections as similar to themselves) and bridging (among volunteers who identify their connections as different from themselves) connections. More details on ANSER and the annual conference are available here.

May 2020

Interview Series: Talk with Western alumna Amanda Cosentino

Amanda Cosentino graduated from the Western Sport Management master's program in 2017. She is currently the Director of FireRock Golf Club in Komoka, Ontario. With the closures to schools, universities, businesses, and a general change to our day-to-day lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all had to adapt our routines. Western Sport Management had a chance to catch up with Amanda on how she is managing her role at FireRock during these times. Listen to the interview here.

Thanks again to Amanda for talking to us and her MA supervisor, Dr. Jim Weese for facilitating this. 

Prof. Doherty featured in the London Free Press

Ryan Pyette penned an article for the London Free Press on the changes to the way sport is played after COVID-19. The article was published on May 24, 2020 and quoted Prof. Doherty's perspectives on potential changes that could be made to the way sport is delivered in communities in the upcoming future. She discussed socio-economic factors, possible fluctutions to participation rates, and safety protocols. Read the article on the London Free Press website here.

MA Candidate wins SSHRC award

Erin Pearson (MA Candidate, 2020) has been awarded a Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) doctoral fellowship towards her doctoral studies commencing in the 2020-2021 academic year at Western's School of Kinesiology. The SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship is a research training award, aimed at developing research skills and assisting in the training of highly qualified personnel, by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities.

Congratulations, Erin and supervisor, Dr. Laura Misener!

MA Candidate drafted in the CFL

Jonathan Femi-Cole (MA Candidate, 2021) has been drafted to the Canadian Football League. Jonathan was picked up by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the sixth round with the 53rd overall pick. He was one of four Western Mustangs drafted in the 2020 CFL draft, along with Dylan Giffen, Marc Liegghio, and Bleska Kambamba. More details on the Mustang draftees are available here.

Congratulations to Jonathan and his fellow new recruits!

April 2020

Project Echo website goes live

Dr. Laura Misener and her research team launched "Project Echo," a web-based platform, designed to understand the long-term outcomes of event-related efforts on the accessibility, inclusion, and participation of people with disabilities. The website went live on April 6, 2020 and will use interactive discussion forums with parasport participant groups, to provide an opportunity to those impacted by investments and developments made for hosting mega (para) sport events to share their perspectives. Visit the Project Echo website here.

Prof. Doherty joins Canadian Women & Sport's Impact Research Committee

Canadian Women & Sport (formerly CAAWS) has announced the formation of a Impact Research Committee. The committee consists of seven inaugural members, including Prof. Alison Doherty from Western Sport Management.

The committee will support Canadian Women & Sport in creating and supporting a diverse, multidisciplinary, and relevant research agenda and help inform the organization's insight, knowledge mobilization efforts, and other research deliverables including advising and providing ongoing support to the organization as subject matter experts on participation and leadership of women and girls in sport. Canadian Women & Sport and the Impact Research Committee will be collaborating with Sport Canada's Gender Equity in Sport Research Hub to advance gender equity in the sport system, as part of a network that will benefit sport organizations, practitioners, and researchers across the country. 

For additional details on the committee and their planned work, please see here.

Dr. Misener featured in Western News

Western News has started a new column entitled, 'Read. Watch. Listen.' The column introduces readers to the personal side of staff, faculty, and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing, and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing their attention; what one movie or television show has caught their eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are they lending an ear to.

Dr. Laura Misener's choices were featured in the column dated April 2, 2020; read her recommendations here.

Doctoral alumna's research featured on SIRC

Research on community sport organizations (CSOs) and their corporate social responsibility by Dr. Katie Misener (PhD, 2009; Associate Professor, University of Waterloo) has been featured on the Sport Information Research Centre (SIRC) blog.

Recent evidence shows that CSOs are taking on a wider social role in their communities by engaging in socially responsible actions beyond their sport programs. Dr. Misener's research demonstrates how and why CSOs are expanding their scope to take on social action, and the impact of their efforts within the organization. The article summarizes the research findings and provides practical tips for CSOs interested in incorporating socially responsible actions into their organizations. The full article is available on SIRC here.

March 2020

Prof. Doherty and doctoral alumna host a webinar

Prof. Alison Doherty and doctoral alumna, Alanna Harman (PhD, 2013; Assistant Professor, Wilfred Laurier University) joined forces to present a webinar on volunteers' pscyhological contract to the Sport, Active Living, and Recreation Branch of the Alberta Ministry of Culture, Multiculturism, and Status of Women on March 10, 2020.

The webinar extends from Dr. Harman's dissertation research on volunteer youth sport coaches' expectations. Details on the research are available on the Sport Information Research Centre (SIRC) blog here.

Prof. Weese set to lead the Western Leader Academy

Prof. Jim Weese was appointed the Executive Director of Western's Leader Academy in June 2019. With his role of Acting Vice-President (International) and Acting Vice-Provost coming to an end shortly, Prof. Weese is all set to take on his role at the Leader Academy full-time from July 1, 2020. In this role, Prof. Weese will draw on his vast experience and knowledge of sport and administrative leadership.

The Western Leader Academy is aimed at campus-wide development of leaders, through skill development related to leading people and teams, programs and services, and leading innovation and change. A detailed description of the program is available on Western's website here. Best wishes to Prof. Weese in his new role!

February 2020

Undergraduate students set to spend the Winter 2020 term in Australia 

Rebecca Solomon, Areez Saleh, and Chris Wood are undergraduate students pursuing a dual degree at Western Sport Management (BA) and Ivey (HBA). They are spending the Winter 2020 term at Victoria University on an exchange program. Before the start of the term, the students spent some travelling in New Zealand and Fiji, exploring the islands while engaging in hiking, biking, and local sightseeing.

At Victoria University, the students will be enrolled in Victoria University's block model Kinesiology program. They will first undertake a course in resistance training class (activity credit), followed by more traditional lecture style Kinesiology courses focused on physiology and motor control. All the best to Rebecca, Areez, and Chris!

January 2020

Western alumna wins Ivey MBA Business Plan Competition 

Nicole Baranowski (BA Sport Management, 2019) has won first place in the 2020 Ivey MBA Business Plan Competition. Nicole's entrepreneurial venture, Hairstrong was awarded with $15,000! 

The Ivey MBA Business Plan Competition invites entrepreneurial teams from universities throughout North America and beyond, and offers graduate students the opportunity to present innovative new ventures to potential investors, and investors the opportunity to get a close-up look at up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Organized by the Pierre L. Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship and MBA student volunteers, the competition is funded by private sponsorships.

Congratulations, Nicole! More information on Hairstrong is available here.

Dr. Misener's research team launches new projects 

Dr. Laura Misener and her research team are launching a new venture titled "Project Echo – The post event ripple effect." Project Echo is a web-based platform, designed to understand the long-term outcomes of event-related efforts on the accessibility, inclusion, and participation of people with disabilities. Through interactive discussion forums with parasport participant groups, the website will provide an opportunity to those impacted by investments and developments made for hosting mega (para) sport events to share their perspectives. The project is part of a SSHRC funded study entitled Major Sport Events and Parasport Participation: Investigating Post-Event Opportunities and Experiences, and is being launched in collaboration with colleagues from Mount Royal University and the University of West Scotland. More details on Project Echo are available here.

Dr. Laura Misener is also involved in a Horizon 2020 European Union funded research project (Marie Sklodowska, Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange) focused on researcher mobility. In the next two years, Dr. Misener and members of Western University's Sport and Social Impact Research Group will be welcoming scholars from eight different international institutions interested in research focused on addressing inequality and human rights in the hosting of mega sport events. The first visiting scholar, Dr. Kristina Lindstrom (pictured here) from the University of Gothenburg’s Department of Economy and Society & Centre for Tourism spent a month at Western in November 2019. Dr. Lindstrom enjoyed collaborating with scholars at Western and meeting City of London officials in the sport and event tourism space. She will return to Western later in 2020 to complete the project. The School of Kinesiology expects to host three more scholars in 2020, focused on projects related to sport events and human rights.

Prof. Danylchuk's marketing class attends the Continental Cup 

Prof. Karen Danylchuk's graduate Sport Marketing class attended the 2020 OK Tire & BKT Tires Continental Cup of Curling. The event was held at Western Fair Grounds in London, Ontario from Thursday, January 9 to Sunday, January 12.

Students attended the event on Friday and enjoyed the action but their visit was part of an assignment for class. During the visit, students were asked to be mindful of different factors involved in the organization, promotion, and running of the event. For their assignment, students will critically reflect on their visit and analyze the event from a marketing perspective.

More information on the event is available here and more information on Prof. Danylchuk's graduate sport marketing course is available here.