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Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games Postponed! What this means to Brock Sport Management Students.

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

The Canada Summer Games Council and the 2021 Host has decided to postpone the 2021 games until 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Niagara Region, St. Catherine’s and Brock University were excited to host the upcoming Canada Summer Games and as many Sport Management students were aware, there were many opportunities to get involved in volunteer or work capacities. The Games were scheduled for August 2021 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and given uncertainties for the future, the decision was made to postpone the games until 2022.

To provide a brief background of the games, they are held every two years and alternate between winter and summer. To amateur Canadian athletes, this is the highest level of national competition and many of these athletes have the potential to one day make it to the Olympic Games. “More than 5,000 participants and 4,000 volunteers are expected to take part in Canada’s largest multi-sport event in the Niagara Region” (Canada Games Council, 2020).

Of those 4,000 volunteers, many were Niagara region locals and Brock University students, specifically Sport Management students who were looking to gain major-games experience. Following the announcement that the games would be postponed, we took the opportunity to talk to a few students who were supposed to volunteer and understand the impact that this change has had on them.


William Ord, 3rd Year Sport Management Student

What was volunteer position for the games?

I was supposed to be a Media Lead volunteer. I had a one-year contract which started in August 2020 and ended August 2021 after the games were over. The role of a media leader was to be sort of the liaison for one of the 14 facilities. Other roles included being on site and having direct communication with the media and production teams, setting up equipment, as well as accreditation for sport or news networks that may cover the games.

What was the application process like?

I found this opportunity from an email that Katie Desveaux sent out to SPMA students and I thought, why not go for it. I applied knowing that there were limited spots and to be honest, I was very surprised when I got the email saying I had been accepted.

What was one thing that you learned while briefly volunteering?

Do not underestimate the unpredictability of large-scale sporting events. Anything can happen that shifts the course of the games. Although it’s a major shock that they games were postponed, it’s uncontrollable. You just have to be in a position to accept the outcome and move on and try to put the event in a better position come 2022.

What advice would you give to a SPMA student about applying to work/volunteer for the summer games in the future?

Specifically, look out for game-time volunteers as opposed to leads and look and see if they are re-opening the application process again just in case opportunities come up.

Generally, expect the unexpected. Always look to take calculated risk even if the opportunities are few and far between. Take the opportunity if it makes sense or take a risk and apply in a place that you want to learn about. I saw there’s high risk, high reward environments available as SPMA students. Put you best foot forward as we are all in this together as the industry is adapting and coping with the current pandemic.


Victoria Dewar, 4th Year Sport Management Student

What was volunteer position for the games?

My role with the Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games is Venue Lead for The Club at White Oaks.

Do you have to reapply for that position since it will now be held in 2022? Will you still consider volunteering?

I do not have to reapply for my position due to the postponement. I am definitely still considering volunteering for the games as this is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience within the sport industry in an area, major games, that I have not yet been able to gain experience. In addition, it would be a very meaningful experience to be able to have my name and hard work be part of an event that will have a lasting impact and will leave a long legacy in the Niagara Region.

What advice would you give to SPMA students about applying to work/volunteer for the summer games in the future?

Be open to any opportunity presented to you. Every volunteer is valued and needed for the games to run smoothly. Be open to being mentored by other volunteers. Everyone comes to a volunteer committee or group with a different background and has something that they can teach you. Ask questions of other volunteers. Get to know where they are from and their background. You never know what connections they may have.


Ishan Shah, 4th Year Sport Management Student

Why did you decide to volunteer for the Canada Summer Games?

I was mainly just looking to gain additional experience in the sport industry. As an international student from India, there was no better opportunity to understand and experience the Canadian sport industry than volunteering with the Canada Games.

What was your volunteer position at the game?

Media Lead

Do you have to reapply for that position since it will now be held in 2022? Will you still consider volunteering?

Thankfully, I do not need to apply once again for the position. Ideally, I would definitely continue volunteering with the Canada Games until 2022. However, once I graduate in 2021, my student visa will expire. In order to stay in Canada beyond 2021 I will need to secure a work permit via a job in the Canadian sport industry. Due to the ambiguity of my status in Canada coupled with the ambiguity around where I will be working after I graduate, I will likely not be able to volunteer in 2022, not because I do not want to, but because circumstances will have changed.

What advice would you give to SPMA students about applying to work/volunteer for the summer games in the future?

If you see a position you’re interested in, apply for it even if you don’t meet all the qualifications. Do not hesitate to apply for a position just because you think you may not get it - that’s not for you to decide. All 3 positions that I currently hold (one of which is with the Canada Games) are all roles which I did not think I would get, due to both a lack of self-confidence and what I thought was a lack of experience. Yet, here I am occupying those roles just because I applied.






References

Council, C. (2020, September 16). Niagara 2021 Canada Summer Games Postponed Due to the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/niagara-2021-canada-summer-games-postponed-due-to-the-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic-888264499.html


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