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Thorold Welcomes Former Olympic Medalist and World Champion Jeffery Buttle

RiverLions Tip-Off in Niagara (season schedule inside!)


Rock to the Lock — a fundraiser for Abbi

By Dan Giancola

February 6 Gala at Johnny Rocco’s Abbi Monaghan is a very special little girl. From the surface if you met Abbi, you wouldn’t think that she suffers from any misfortunes in life. Abbi doesn’t look like she needs to take over 38 doses of different medicines every day — a tiresome schedule of injections, vitamins, and eye drops. Cystinosis is characterized by the abnormal buildup of the amino acid cystine in each of the body’s cells. The buildup can eventually destroy major organs of the body, the eyes, muscles, bone marrow and thyroid. Abbi is one of 2,000 people worldwide that suffer from the disease. There is currently no cure for cystinosis, although researchers have made progress and the future holds some hope. People from Niagara are standing up to support and raise hope and awareness for this strong-willed little girl. Leading the charge is Dan Giancola, best known for his career as a Grey Cup-winning CFL kicker. Dan has truly invested his time and, more importantly, his heart to Abbi’s cause. To show his commitment to helping Abbi and her fight, Dan has started a fundraiser that will see him travel over 2,000 kilometres on his bike to help raise much-needed money for research. The journey will start on August 1, 2016 in New Brunswick (the Rock) and end up in Thorold (the Lock). Dan and his crew at BTO Performance will be hosting a Gala at Johnny Rocco’s on February 6 to help raise funds. You’re invited to come out and enjoy a wonderful night of community and people coming together. You can purchase tickets through Dan Giancola or by visiting the event’s website,

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New Year’s fitness resolutions By Karolyne Surowka – Personal Trainer, Fitness & Yoga Instructor, Health & Wellness Coach

Welcome to the New Year! As per usual, it’s time to reflect on the past year, the ups and the downs, our accomplishments and our tears — pretty much everything! It’s a cookie-cutter given that we are supposed to make a New Year’s resolution; something we want to change about ourselves, to better ourselves, test ourselves. However, like fads, they usually die hard and sometimes fast. New Year’s resolutions are quick fix attempts to achieve a Karolyne goal and many people assume fitness results should Surowka be the same. I’d say about 50 percent of people make their resolution fitness related. Many of them stick it out about a month, get bitter they aren’t seeing the results they expect and kick the bucket. As a trainer, it’s frustrating to watch people give up so easily and so fast. Fitness is a journey and making small goals is the best and most effective way to get the results we want. There is a reason fitness is called a lifestyle; we are always learning about ourselves, testing ourselves and as a result, we are bettering ourselves. The best part is that we don’t need to do it alone. Even for myself, I have a client base with one-on-one training and classes, online coaching, and my yogis but I also have a coach to keep me on track. My goal for 2016 is to bring my best to the OPA Natural Provincials in August. You may think August — wow, so far — but you need to be realistic with your goals and do what’s best for you. The worst habit many of us have is comparing ourselves to one another. There’s a classic saying, “Don’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter 635.” As we enter into 2016, set a realistic goal for yourself, be the change, make the change, and never be afraid to ask for help especially when it comes to your health. Having someone in your corner keeps you motivated and those nasty thoughts about the gym, or seeing your personal trainer, will turn into fuel for your fire!

For help keeping your resolution Karolyne Surowka Personal Trainer, Fitness & Yoga Instructor, Health & Wellness Coach @karolynesurowka

“Karolyne is a woman of her word. She had a plan; I listened to her advice and she helped me reach my goal and surpass it beyond what I thought was possible! It was all her motivation, encouragement and enthusiasm that got me to where I am today. As a direct result of my training with Karolyne, I’ve become stronger, happier, more confident and healthier than I’ve ever been. Join Klean team and you’ll see what I’m talking about!” – Ro, Client

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Sports Connection



Entertaining, informative and engaging articles on local athletes, sports and teams. 02 | Rock to the Lock — a fundraiser for Abbi 06 | The AC Douglas — Ontario’s longest running consecutive tournament 07 | FM radio hosts Biggs and Barr give back to Niagara through the power of sport 13 | Pack of IceDogs at the IIHF World Jr Championship


Tips, tactics and ideas are shared by athletes, coaches and fans.

15 | What wins games, defence or offence?


Information articles on sports health and fitness 03 | New Year’s fitness resolutions 04 | Youth athletics — is strength-training safe?


Profiling community sports in words and photographs. 09 | Niagara Sportsplex hosts 5th Annual Golf Show 12 | BHi St. Catharines fall season champions 14 | Jeffrey Buttle headlines local ice show


Highlighting all school sports and athletes.

11 | Brock basketball draws record crowd to the Meridian Centre


Profiling community sports in words and photographs. 05 | Flag rugby — fast-paced fun without the contact 10 | Niagara River Lions kick off their inaugural season Niagara Sports Xpress is excited to bring you the local sporting news from around the region in our January/February edition! We are excited to promote our world of sports in this beautiful place we call home. The IceDogs and RiverLions have the Merdian Centre buzzing, a former world champion is skating in Thorold, a former CFL player is helping a great cause, and much more inside! Meeting and telling the stories of our community’s sports leaders is what drives Sports Xpress to grow. We want to tell your stories! Do you have an interesting story? Did your team just win a championship? Hosting an event? We are interested in promoting anything that promotes our local sports scene here in Niagara! Call 289-213-4949 or email





Youth athletics —

is strength-training safe? By Kirstyn Carruthers, owner of True North Training


Your Community


Sports Connection

January/February 2016 PUBLISHER NIAGARA SPORTS ZONE Kevin Erb 289-213-4949 EDITOR Gord Dearborn GRAPHIC DESIGN Wendy Ferris

Strength-training and sports How many times have you heard this? “Kids shouldn’t train with weights because it will stunt their growth plates.” This phrase has been overused for years and still has traction among the majority of parents, until they look at the larger picture. The fact is that most young people begin strength training on their own with inadequate strength-training methods. Without a plan, or supervision, young athletes drastically increase their injury risk and, in doing so, increase the likelihood that those around them maintain a negative view of strength-training altogether. How many times have you seen an athlete jump, land directly on another athlete’s foot and end up with a badly twisted ankle? In a supervised strength-training environment, athletes are guided through workouts that see their bodies move through predetermined ranges of motion, without anything else impeding their progress. In comparison, when young athletes perform in an unpredictable environment (hockey, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, football, etc.), there is an increased possibility that they will move into unknown ranges of motion, often causing injury. With proper strength-training protocol, young athletes learn to resist these forces and keep themselves injuryfree while they play the sports they love.

Coaching our youth athletes Whether the coaching provided is correct or not, children are able to absorb coaching from a very young age. They communicate, perform, and develop as their coaches teach them. Therefore, if young athletes learn to perform a skill properly from the very beginning, we will save a great deal of time on developing Canada’s young athletes. Conversely, if athletes are unknowingly taught the wrong way to perform a skill, they will perform it improperly until corrected. These skill corrections take time to facilitate so skilled coaching at the lowest levels of sport (tyke, novice, peewee etc.) is extremely important.

The bottom line: • All sports are dangerous in some way but, when compared with other sports supervised strength training carries decreased risks with increased results. • As a parent, ensure that your child has coaches that are qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced in the specific sport. • Nothing within sport is more important than the development of a young person so, as coaches and parents, we must carry ourselves accordingly. True North Training is the premier all-ages strength and conditioning facility in the Niagara Region that focuses on youth athletic development of all sports, ages, and genders. Currently training hundreds of Niagara Region athletes across multiple sports, Kirstyn Carruthers (owner of TNT) has helped many athletes improve their skills and confidence while maintaining injury-free bodies. To find out more, visit TNT on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or at


CONTRIBUTORS Don Elliot, Karolyne Surowka, Christina Stranges & the Niagara Falls Soccer Club, Figure Skating Club, Caleb Smith & Niagara Flag Rugby, Trevor Van Nest, Niagara IceDogs, Niagara Falls Soccer Club, Niagara River Lions, Niagara Sports Plex, Dan Giancola & the Rock to the Lock fundraising crew, John and Marla Bolibruk, Kirstyn Carruthers, BHI St. Catharines, SportsXpress team and various other sports enthusiasts.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Front Cover: special thanks to Thorold

Figure Skating, Jeffery Buttle and IMG World BHI St Catharines, Klean Healthy Living, Niagara Falls Soccer, Niagara Flag Rugby, Niagara IceDogs, Trevor Van Nest, the Niagara Sportsplex, Dan Giancola, Kirstyn Carruthers and various sports enthusiasts.

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BRANTFORD XCELERATOR 226-227-2102 MAILING ADDRESS 50 Ottawa St. South, Unit 110, Kitchener, On N2G 3S7 519-208-9302 or 1-877 588-8856 Editorial Contributions: Submissions are welcome from writers, photographers, athletes, coaches and individuals. Please contact the publisher. We assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. Contributors are responsible for obtaining all approvals for publication of photos and content prior to submission. All submissions may not be used. We may edit, publish, reproduce, distribute and archive submissions in any form or medium without any compensation. We are not responsible for lost or damaged submissions. Contents copyrighted. All rights reserved. Reproduction or transmission of any article, photograph or artwork in any form or by any means without permission from the publisher is prohibited. SportsXpress is published six times per year. Sports Express Media Inc. is committed to protecting your privacy as our customer. We may collect personal information only if it is required for the proper functioning of our business and only share this information with our business partners. The editors and contributors who write for Sports Express Media Inc. attempt to provide accurate and useful information and commentary. However the editors, contributors and Sports Express Media Inc. cannot and do not guarantee the accuracy of this information. We assume no responsibility for any actions or decisions taken by any readers based on the information provided. view & upload Photos • Video • Articles




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Your Community Sports Report


Flag rugby —

fast-paced fun without the contact By Caleb Smith

Fun, inclusive and fast-paced are the words that come up most often when discussing the sport of flag rugby. When you ask children what they think of the game, they often bring up the strong teamwork that is developed and the friendships they have gained. Niagara Flag Rugby was founded in 2009 and has multiple teams in Niagara Falls, Stevensville, St. Catharines and Grimsby. Children participate in three age groups: junior kindergarten to grade two, grades three to five and the oldest for those in grades six to nine. Boys and girls play on the same team and learn to support each other in this highly aerobic sport. The season starts in mid-May, ends in mid-August, and includes five local tournaments. The cost to register is $90. Like traditional rugby, flag rugby advances play by passing the ball backwards and running forward. Unlike traditional rugby, there is no tackling or body contact. Instead, players wear Velcro belts that have two long flags hanging from the players’ hips. When a flag is pulled, play does not stop. Instead, the ball must be passed within three steps or three seconds to a teammate. Niagara Falls player Kerim Mostic had this to say about flag rugby, “You have to think outside of the box and think about what the other team is going to do. Develop strategies to get the ball to the other end of

the field.” Sterling Ryan, 13, has been playing flag rugby since he was seven. “I like running with the ball and passing it,” said Sterling. “I like practicing as a team and traveling to places to play with other teams.” Meryem Alibegic,

12, started participating in flag rugby when she was in grade two and really likes the game. “It is fun. The competition is fun because it is nice to see how people play and the different strategies,” said Meryem. “I like learning new stuff and meeting new friends!” To get in on the fun, check out Niagara Flag Rugby at



The AC Douglas –

Ontario’s longest running consecutive tournament Submitted by the Niagara Falls Soccer Club

A.C. Douglas was a special member of the Niagara Falls community. His work in both the agriculture community and foreign relations landed him more awards and recognition than can be listed in this article. A.C. was also a very generous individual. When approached in 1962 about donating trophies for the regional champions, he took hold of the opportunity, eventually making a provision with his estate for an annual donation of trophies to the AC Douglas champions. Heading into its 54th consecutive season, the AC Douglas tournament has become a staple in many soccer players’ summer schedules. The reason it has lasted this long? Well obviously, a solid organizational structure and countless hours of volunteer work cannot be under-appreciated, but neither can you ignore the opportunities that come with a visit to Niagara Falls. Visiting teams from all across Ontario get the opportunity to not only play some fun, face-paced, exciting soccer, but also have the opportunity to bond with family and teammates while checking out one of the

“Join the Niagara Falls Soccer Club in showcasing soccer and the beauty of the falls.” eight natural wonders of the world! Niagara Falls offers such a variety of unique opportunities for visiting players that other communities just cannot compete. With great options for dining and entertainment, players and their families are sure to keep busy in their off-hours. This tournament is about one thing. “The AC Douglas is about showcasing Niagara Falls, filling up our restaurants and shops, showing everyone what we have to offer,” said head administrator Christina Stranges. Obviously, the formula works. It’s impossible to run a tournament for 53 consecutive years without putting together a professional, but fun, environment. This year’s August classic will prove to be another great event for both boys’ and girl’s teams, but spots are filling up fast! For information on how to enter your team in this year’s event, visit NiagaraFallsSoccer. ca, or go right to the tournament page, acdouglastournament. com. The 2016 tournament is to be held on the August 6th weekend.


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FM radio hosts Biggs and Barr give back to Niagara through the power of sport In February 2013, Chris Biggs, co-host of the very popular Niagara-based radio show (Biggs and Barr) on 97.7 FM, had an urge to learn the game of hockey. The other hosts of the show, Jason Barr and Pasty Jamie, decided they were going to teach him and a few other that have never had the opportunity to play the nation’s past- time.

building off last year’s success by taking to the ice to benefit the United Way of St Catharines. Whom do the Biggs & Barr-Barians play? Well, if you have a team in Niagara interested in helping out a great cause, the team will try to accommodate you with a challenge match. The boys have already taken on a variety of anxious community teams including Swiss Chalet 4th Avenue, Walker Industries, Meridian Centre and Cogeco. As for Biggs, he is getting better every time he steps out on the ice. It’s great to see how sports bring together community members to do great things.

After a few months of practice, what started out as a mission to get Biggs into the game evolved into the Biggs & Barr-Barians Hockey Club. Last season, the team was able to benefit local Jumpstart chapters to the tune of $14,000! This year, the team is

97.7 Biggs and Barr hosts Jason Barr, Pasty Jamie, and Chris Biggs

Over the past two seasons money totals have been over $30,000 donated by teams playing the boys. If you have a team that would like to take on the Biggs & BarrBarians, email us at biggsandbarr@htzfm. com. We accommodate as many teams as possible.

Refer to the inset for the remainder of the team’s schedule. You’re invited to come out to the games and cheer on your community teams. All games are played at Niagara’s best facility, the Meridian Centre, and admission is free!

Pre-K to Grade 12





Upcoming Games January 23 - 6pm - Falls View Hose Brigade March 5 - 3:30pm - Niagara Falls Breakers March 13 - 6pm - Parker Hannifin March 18 - 7pm - The Delinquents March 24 - 6pm - Enbridge March 26 - 6pm - Kully’s Original Sports Bar

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Niagara Sportsplex hosts 5th Annual Niagara Golf Show Calling all Niagara golfers! The 5th edition of the Niagara Golf Show and Sale is set to take place to kick off this year’s golf season. The Niagara Falls Sportsplex is the perfect facility to host this coming together of top manufacturers, local courses, players, food and, new this year, local craft breweries! This year’s event will be taking place on Feb. 27 and 28 and will be well worth the price of admission. Eight of golf’s top manufacturers (including Titleist, Taylor Made, and Callaway) will be on hand to display some of the newest technology in golf. Local retailers will include the Niagara Golf Warehouse and Golf Town. The Sportsplex offers a full-size driving range to

allow for product testing on site! For the travelling golfer, there will be some great opportunities to score deals with golf vacation destinations. Destination spots range from Northern Ontario to south of the border locations in New York and Pennsylvania. If you’re a golfer that likes to keep it local, or are looking for a course to call home for 2016, tons of local Niagara courses will be present to answer your questions and give information, giveaways and prizes! This year’s event will be raising money to help BoxRun, a charity supported by former Olympic Boxer Mike Strange. BoxRun is dedicated to ending the fight against

children’s cancer with a complete knockout. Local food and beverage vendors will be on hand to provide you with an opportunity to enjoy some of the newest creations from craft breweries like Lake of Bays, Triple Bogey and Ironwood ciderwwwww. The Niagara Sportsplex is a 48,000 square foot climate-controlled facility that is open daily for a variety of sports and actives. Make sure you check out all the details on the new website, or call (905) 353-1838 for reservations.

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Niagara River Lions kick off their inaugural season The Niagara River Lions have officially kicked off their inaugural season! The team’s season began with home-andhome games against the London Lightning, first at the Budweiser Gardens on December 26 and then their own home opener at the Meridian Centre on December 27. The crowd was amazing and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. In April 2015, the Niagara Basketball Group was awarded a National Basketball League of Canada (NBL Canada) franchise, which was later named the Niagara River Lions. Founded in 2011, the NBL Canada is a Canadian professional men’s basketball league, featuring Canadian and international hoopsters, on eight teams from Ontario and across the Maritimes. The River Lion’s final roster, selected in late December, features twelve exceptionally talented young athletes, four of whom are Canadians. All of the River Lions players have collegiate experience, with some

having previous professional and semi-professional experience as well. The team, headed by Coach Ken Murray, the former Brock University men’s basketball coach who won CIS championships in 1992 and 2008, worked hard throughout November and December to get ready to compete consistently when they step onto the hardcourt. What this team needs is you! The fans are who the team plays for and why they work so hard during games and practices. The entire River Lions organization promises to


provide an incredibly enjoyable experience for all of their fans throughout their inaugural season. The atmosphere will be fun for the whole family, so don’t be afraid to bring the rest of your family to the Meridian Centre to take in a game this season! As this exciting new journey continues, the Niagara River Lions are looking for partners and supporters who are just as eager to bring professional basketball to Niagara. The River Lions organization will work hand-in-hand with their partners to create a team, on and off the court, that the entire Niagara Region can proudly support. To learn more about becoming a partner of the River Lions, visit the Partners tab of their website, For more information about the team, how you can stay engaged throughout the team’s inaugural season, and how to purchase tickets, visit the website and follow the team on social media.


Brock basketball draws record crowd to the Meridian Centre Put a badger and a lion in a cage and chances are they won’t get along. Thankfully, here in Niagara, they do. Brock University and the region’s newest sports franchise, the Niagara River Lions, partnered on Nov. 28 at the Meridian Centre for the first-ever basketball games at the facility. The Brock Badgers women’s and men’s teams each took to the new (River Lions) court for their scheduled home games against the visiting teams from Lakehead University. In the opening game, Brock’s women jumped out early and held a commanding 34

– 19 lead at the half. The Badgers then cruised to a 72 – 50 victory. Brock’s Jenylyn Yumol (London, ON) added a season-high nine assists making her the school’s all-time career assists leader! The second game was much of the same for the Badgers men as they held a 40 – 14 lead at halftime and turned it into a clean sweep for the Badgers with a convincing 84 – 51 victory over the visiting Thunderwolves. The night was also extremely encouraging for Niagara River Lions as the games made history for Brock by drawing a crowd of 2,887, a new record for a Badgers home game. The game was the first opportunity to see the brand new River Lions set up which includes a new floor, LED scoring table, courtside seats, VIP lounge bar, and just a great basketball atmosphere!

and basketball knowledge to the River Lions, this is a partnership that just makes sense. The River Lions home season tipped off with a dramatic 106 – 104 victory in front of 2,800 fans. There are 20 home dates at the Meridian Centre so there’s a lot more exciting basketball still to see! Tickets are available through Ticketmaster; visit www.

With close ties to Brock through Ken Murray, long-time Brock head coach now bringing his experience

Unit 3, 1st Floor, Corporate Centre 3550 Schmon Parkway Thorold, ON




BHi St. Catharines fall season champions Men’s D – The Ducks The Ducks had a slow start to the fall season but really turned things around at the halfway point. With several new players on the team this year, it took a while to develop the chemistry they eventually achieved. On route to their second straight fall-season league title, the Ducks faced two tough opponents in the Bulldawgs and the Warriors. In the summer season, the Ducks played their first season at BHi St. Catharines in the D2 division and won the league title by beating the One Timers in two straight games.

Men’s D2 – One Timers The One Timers have developed into a BHi St. Catharines dynasty by winning three division titles in the last 12 months. Led by team rep Ben Kyle, the One Timers battled Puck Pile in the finals with each of the three championship series games being decided by one goal. The fall championship game was a nail bitter with teams trading goals back and forth and the One Timers tying the game 2 – 2 with just 1:42 remaining in the third period. They carried that momentum into the overtime period with Jamie Pagendam scoring at 2:34 to seal the victory.

2015 Fall Men’s D2 Champs - One Timers

Men’s D3 – Autostyling In Autostyling’s first season playing at BHi St. Catharines, the team quickly established itself as being truly competitive. Having a balanced mix of experienced and new ball hockey players, Autostyling discovered its game in the second half of the season and defeated the Lone Rangers in game three of the championship series to win the D3 title.

Men’s E – Phantoms

2015 Fall Men’s D3 Champs - Autostyling

The Phantoms battled the Clams all season long and right into the playoffs. The two teams squared off in the E division final best-of-five series and put on a fantastic display of skill and sportsmanship. The Phantoms swept the series in three games and claimed their first division title


2015 Fall Men’s D Champs Ducks

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2015 Fall Men’s E Champs Phantoms



Pack of IceDogs at the IIHF World Jr Championship The IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship (WJC) is a tournament that showcases the world’s best players under the age of 20. The event has risen over the years to become a staple in every hockey fan’s holiday festivities. There really is no better way to welcome in the New Year than by cheering on the young, talented Canadian team whose players are destined to become the next stars of the National Hockey League. Since the IceDogs landed in Niagara, the team has supplied team Canada with some memorable stars that have demonstrated their skills on the world stage. This year, not much changed as another crop of IceDogs

was selected to represent their respective countries including two at Canada’s camp, defenceman Vince Dunn and forward Brandon Perlini. While an unfortunate wrist injury ended Dunn’s camp early, Perlini was able to move on to play a big role in what ended up being a disappointing finish for team Canada as the team was eliminated by Finland in the quarterfinals. It’s not unusual for teams in the CHL to send one or two players to represent Canada, but in 2011, the IceDogs tied the record for most players from one team when Dougie and his brother Freddie Hamilton, centre Ryan Strome and goaltender Mark Visentin were all selected. All four have gone on to achieve various levels of pro success in the NHL. The most notable player Niagara has ever sent to the WJC, Alex Pietrangelo, currently leads the NHL St Louis Blues backend. Pietrangelo also went on to represent Canada in 2014 at the next level when he played for Team Canada, Olympic gold medalists at Sochi, Russia.

Dermott (Erie), Lawson Crouse (Kingston), and Mitch Marner (London). All games are played at the Meridian Centre, right here in Niagara! (Visit for the complete IceDogs schedule.)

Along with the players sent to Canada’s camp this year, the IceDogs had Alex Nedeljkovic between the pipes for the Americans. Nedeljkovic, acquired from the Flint Firebirds earlier this season, had a great tournament. The young American took control of the USA net posting a .943 save percentage and 1.66 goals against average in six games played, helping the Americans to a bronze-medal finish. The IceDogs also had defenceman Aleksandar Mikulovich on the Russian blue line helping shore up the back end of a very talented team that brought home the silver medal. Now that the boys are back from Finland, make sure to come out and catch the IceDogs in action as they take on visiting OHL teams featuring other Canadian WJC stars like Dylan Strome and Travis



Jeffrey Buttle headlines local ice show By John and Marla Bolibruk

Come celebrate with us (Thorold Figure Skating Club) at this year’s (our 65th annual) ice show featuring Jeffrey Buttle. Having Jeffrey Buttle as our guest skater should make for an enjoyable and exciting show. It is both a great pleasure and an honor to have Jeffrey skate at this year’s show. He was born in Canada and has received many medals throughout his skating career. Just to highlight a few of his accomplishments: he was the Winter Olympic bronze medalist in 2006, the Four Continents champion in 2002 and 2004, and Canadian champion 2005, 2006 and 2007. On March 22, 2008, Jeffrey became the first Canadian to win the World Championship since Elvis Stojko (1997). At present, Jeffrey is involved with Stars on Ice and, in addition to his own skating, works as a choreographer for many skaters and shows. Our show requires many volunteers who spend countless hours working together to prepare everything. The show is a production with lights, spotlights, ice painting, curtains and much more to make this very memorable for all our skaters and the audience. Show times are Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 21 at 2:00 p.m. Both shows are taking place at the Thorold Community Arena, 70 Front Street, N. The cost for the ice show is $5.00 per person; children aged four-andunder are free. The Board of Directors would like to thank all the businesses that have helped contribute over the years to our ice shows in order to make them successful. We


would like to give a special thank you to the following businesses: Henderson’s Pharmacy, Niagara Trailers, Meridian Credit Union and Air Liquide Hamilton. Without their support, it would not have been possible for us to secure Canadian skater Jeffrey Buttle for this year’s show. Thank you again to all our supporters. We look forward to seeing you at the show!


What wins games, defence or offence? By Trevor Van Nest, B.Comm.(Hons.), CFP®, Money Coach

Why do fans chant, “De-fence! De-fence!” and not, “Of-fence! Of-fence!” at games? A statistical analysis of NBA history proved that a team is three times more likely to win a championship if it can hold opponents to 10 fewer points per game, rather than scoring 10 more points per game. Therefore, to win a championship, focusing on defence would appear to be the preferred strategy. However, spectacular goaltending has not been required to win the Stanley Cup in recent years. Think Antti Niemi for Chicago in 2010 (2.63 goals against average) and Jonathan Quick for Los Angeles in 2014 (2.58 GGA). In the NFL, one of the top-five defensive teams is just as likely to win the Super

Bowl as one of the league’s top-five offensive teams (14 – 13). “Defence wins championships” has not been proven true in football!

The Millionaire Next Door is a researchbased book that describes how millionaires accumulate their wealth. In their research, the authors were shocked to find that the average millionaire wore $20 jeans, drank beer and drove an older truck to the event. The point here is that millionaires are not necessarily people who earn a lot. More typically, they are regular people with regular jobs who spent less than they earned (over 30 to 40 years).

You’d be right to argue that both offence and defence are important. However, when it comes to winning with your money, defence wins hands down. It doesn’t matter what you earn (the “offence” of your wallet); what matters is what you spend (your wallet’s “defence”). Let me explain. Are people who earn $120,000 considered rich if they spend all of it? Someone who earns $55,000 a year and spends $48,000 will become wealthy over time. He/she may not feel rich but assuming a five percent annual return, will have a nest egg of $488,000 after 30 years. Not bad!

Defence wins some hockey games. It wins some football and basketball games but, when it comes to wealth generation, defence wins every time.

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SportsXpress Niagara Jan/Feb 2016