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Sport Management News at Western


Western University updates on COVID-19

Western University has cancelled all in-person classes and examinations for the Winter 2020 term. For ongoing updates on COVID-19 from Western, please visit

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.