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editor’s note Welcome to SportsXpress, a magazine all about local sports — the players, teams, families, volunteers and fans. We publish real life stories on the full range of community sports and include all ages and skill levels. Every fan, parent, and sports enthusiast can participate by sharing their experiences with other fans.

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Entertaining, informative and engaging articles on local athletes, sports and teams. 2014 National Dragon Boat Championships Whistle for the World Record Illumin Aqua Get past hockey stereotyping

Profiling community sports in words and photographs.


Come and Try Wheelchair Basketball Summer ball hockey heating up in Niagara Niagara Falls Soccer Club on the rise Pelham Panthers bring home the gold Atom girls win all Ontario gold

11 Front cover photo credit: Welland Recreational Canal Corporation


Sports Connection

July/August 2014

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July/August 2014 PUBLISHER NIAGARA SPORTS ZONE Zoran Knezevic 905-520-5509 EDITOR Renee Papineau GRAPHIC DESIGN Wendy Ferris CONTRIBUTORS Rick Baldin, Gianni Marinelli,

various sports enthusiasts, and the SportsXpress team

PHOTOGRAPHERS Welland Recreational Canal Corporation and various sports enthusiasts.

PARTNERSHIP Ajax/Pickering EDITIONS Brampton

Call your own shots! Be a part of the SportsXpress Team! SportsXpress is a grassroots media provider dedicated to the community sports lifestyle. We’re all about the athletes, coaches, their families and fans. We publish real life stories and include all ages and skills.

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CORPORATE MANAGER OF BRANTFORD XCELERATOR MARKETING & PRODUCTION 226-227-2102 Kelly Martin 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.

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Coaching • Administration • Technology


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Welcome to the

2014 National Dragon Boat Championships A showcase of unity. Paddler and water. Drummer and paddlers. 22 athletes in all, working in perfected precision as they charge down Welland’s Waterway as one! Plunging blades to the intense beating of the dragon boat drum, surging the boat forward toward the finish line. There is an immeasurable passion encapsulated in each boat, a palpable dedication and spirit, each crew with a national title within their grasps. The best dragon boat crews of the nation will leave it all on the water this summer in Welland. 2014 National Dragon Boat Championships taking place July 4-6, 2014 is the highlight of the flatwater season with nearly 2,000 athletes from across Canada coming to Welland to compete in hopes of being named a National Champion. Discover and partake in this ancient Chinese cultural tradition hosted right here on Welland’s Waterway. While watching race action, you will also be able to wander about the Shoreline Festival; an exhibition of food, music and merchants. Sip wine, enjoy the sights and sounds. Catch the roar!! We encourage all to come out and cheer on crews from coast to coast as they compete to capture the title of National Champion.

These Championships will give revellers a hint of the excitement to come as the sport of Dragon Boat delivers the World again to the shores of the Welland International Flatwater Centre as athletes from around the globe come to compete in the 2015 World Dragon Boat Racing Championships in August 2015. Come celebrate this amazing event with us; marvel at the fierce competition, absorb the tradition, and help us welcome the athletes to the waterway.

For further event information, please visit: |

GET YOUR SEASON’S PASS & EXPERIENCE ALL OF THIS GREAT TALENT FOR JUST $79.99 Includes $25 Gift Certificate for Seaway Mall




Come and Try Wheelchair Basketball! Looking for something to do this summer and you like basketball, come and try Wheelchair Basketball with the Brock Niagara Penguins. The Penguins are offering FREE summer dates for anyone interested in trying wheelchair basketball.

When: Saturday June 21st, Saturday July 12th and Saturday August 23rd Time: 12:30pm - 2:30pm Location: 500 Glenridge Ave. St Catharines, Brock University Walker Complex Gym 2 Parking: $7.00 Day Parking One Time Entry

Come and join us for some fun

EVERYONE WELCOME!! Brock Niagara Penguins strives to foster opportunities for youth and young adults with physical disabilities in a recreational setting to meet friends, have fun and develop a healthy active lifestyle. It promotes physical activity and offers sporting opportunities for participants while building individual’s confidence and self-esteem in an environment without inadvertent road blocks.

in D-lot OR $2.50 per hrs meter parking

Penguins Boccia, Swim, and Wheelchair Basketball regular season starts mid September


For more information please contact the Penguins at (905) 359-6283 or You can also visit our website at


Whistle for the World Record

History in the making at Young’s Sportsplex It’s not every day we get a chance to participate in a history-making event. On August 9th, 2014 folks from around the Region will gather at Young’s Sportsplex in Welland, Ont. for the chance to take home a Guinness World Record for the most people whistling at the same time.

whistling at one time,’ says Adam Bennett, general manager at Young’s Sportsplex.

great keepsake to remember this historical event.

‘Not only are we making history and giving everyone a chance to be a part of that, but we’re also planning to raise $10,000 for United Way to commemorate its 50th year in South Niagara.’

The festivities start at 4 p.m. and will kick off with live music. Folks will also have the chance to grab a bite to eat at the Sportsplex’s restaurant and a cash bar is also available.

‘We’re planning to have 1,000+ people out at the Sportsplex to beat the Guinness World Record for having the most people

Anyone can participate with a $5 donation to United Way. Event T-shirts are also affordable at only $10 each and are a

To register or for more information about the event, visit


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Summer ball hockey heating up in Niagara This summer Ball Hockey International (BHi) has a full slate of tournaments and events taking place in the Niagara region which will draw participants from across the province. The fun starts July 4th – 6th with the first of two ball hockey tournaments to support Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program. This tournament is the 3rd installment of BHi’s Youth All Ontario Cup tournament program, and will be hosted at BHi Welland (570 River Rd). With several divisions, Atom (03-04), Peewee (01-02), Bantam (99-00) and Midget (96-98) there is a wide range of skill which makes for a great weekend to be outside enjoying a game! This tournament is always a popular event in the Niagara ball hockey community and will support a charity that helps youth get involved with sport, including ball hockey. The final tournament

of the Youth All Ontario Cup, the Elmer McMann Memorial tournament, will be held August 8th – 10th at BHi Brantford. The second tournament being held this summer in the Niagara region is July 25th – 27th, also being hosted by BHi Welland and will support Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program. Four divisions will be offered (Open, Intermediate, Rec and COED) for this tournament and will surely be another great weekend of ball hockey, drawing teams from our BHi locations in London, Brantford, St.Catharines and from all points in between! This tournament is also the 3rd installment of the All Ontario Cup, BHi’s adult tournament program which culminates in November with the Tournament of Champions, hosted by BHi St.Catharines, with the winning team in each of the

divisions receiving customised rings. The third event is a continuation of the growing relationship between Ball Hockey International and the Niagara Sports Commission. For the past two years we have been partners in the Niagara Winter Games, providing the ball hockey aspect of the event. This August we will be mirroring the winter event with a 4-on-4 summer games to be held at the Welland BHi location on the weekend of the 22nd – 24th. For all the details on the sporting events taking place in the Niagara Summer Games or to register your team, visit www.



Niagara Falls Soccer Club on the rise By Rick Baldin

Members of the Niagara Falls Soccer Club U15 Elite team are Champions of the 2014 Mississauga International Tournament.

meeting the Islington Rangers in the final, and handily defeating them 4-0 to claim the championship.

Niagara started the tournament on the losing end of a 2-1 result to North York Azzurri, but got back on their winning ways by defeating Ottawa South Force 1-0, and Cumberland Cobras 4-0 to advance to the playoff round. Niagara then defeated Cumberland A team 1-0 in the semis before

This past winter these same Titans won the Sahlens Super Series going 12-0 in the series throughout the winter defeating Erin Mills, Ajax, Oakville, and Toronto Lynx Jrs., amongst others. Members of the team are: Noah Diegidio,

Congratulations to the Niagara Falls Soccer Club 2001 Titans are 2014 Festitalia Champions Taking a strong 5 – 0 record into the final they defeated Hamilton Sparta 4-1 to claim the Championship! Front Row L to R: Philip Frey, Liam McNeil, Tyler Mazzuto, Brandon Mazzuto, Matthew Phee, Owen Van Tol Middle Row L to R: Noah Wilson, Noah Sharp, Wyatt Sullivan, Michael Navarroli, Marco Primerano, Nicholas Andreola Back Row L to R: Paul Allan, Henry Allan, Brandon Hilston, Nicholas Murdaca, Mike Mazzuto Missing: Alexander Root, Matthew Riva


Alberto Rodriguez, Mytch Dellima, Matt Collison, Spencer Theal, Umberto Campana, Andrew Baldin, Nathan Dunleavy, Matt Dellima, Sam Tomaino, Conor Egan, Joe Croce, Tom Crosbie, Dillon Audet, Ivan Peso, Nati Dawit-Cote, and Michael Steier. The team is coached by Dan Pereira, Rick Baldin, Mark Egan, and John Theal, and is sponsored by The Keg Steakhouse and Bar.

Ontario Winter Box Lacrosse League for players of all ages and skill levels

Leagues run from January to March 2015 Age groups are U9, U12, Bantam, Midget, Prospect Plays in Barrie, Durham, Niagara, Ohsweken, Southwestern Ontario

Full Season and Playoffs



taxes included

All players receive team jersey and shorts


Elite Soccer Development Tel: 289-214-1414 • Email Fall Club Try Out Skill Preparation Clinics coming in Sept 2014

UNMATCHED SOCCER PERFORMANCE PROGRAMS Summer Camps 2014 for Boys & Girls: July 7-11, July 14-18, Jul 21-25, Aug 11-15 (9am to 3pm Daily)

$165 plus HST or $160 for Multiple weeks $155 Early registration before May 31,2014

SUMMER CAMP AT A NEW LOCATION! 31 Wood St St Catharines, ON Off Geneva opposite Fairview Mall

Space is limited so don't delay. Each week will be unique & incorporate new drills.

Ask us about private and small group training through out the summer!

New This Year:

Optional Afternoon Swim. Nominal daily cost. Ask about early drop off & late pick up options. World Cup themed events.


Perfecting Skills in Volleyball

A unique program in the Niagara Operated By Former MLBSeptember Player Scott 2014 Bullettto - 905.732.1687 From April 2015 region

Register online at www.bpsportspark.comFrom • 1100 Niagara • gradeSt2Welland to grade 12


Basketball Training with

Scott Bullett

Niagara Region’s Only Elite Indoor Sports Training Facility Elite training for all levelsSUMMER - Baseball, Basketball, Soccer CAMP

Your child will have the chance to develop his/her abilities in this sport and to be with the best players in the region. Develop their self-esteem, develop their sporting leadership and prepare them to become great athletes at the national and international level.

Summer Programs at BP Sports Park

• Daily Multi Sport Day Camps

per day For $20.00 more information call us at:

905-353-5809 or 289–214-1414 • Group & Private Elite Lessons Basketball & Baseball E-mail:

Find usStarting on Facebook: • Basketball Clinic in May MagicVolleyCanada?ref=hl

August 4th to 8th

BP SportsIndoor Park - 1100 Niagara Street Welland Summer Volleyball League (10 minutes from St Catharines and Niagara Falls)

• Tuesday and Wednesday nights

9 am– 12pm (2nd to 6th grade) • Ladies A,B, BB and C Divisions 12pm – 3pm (7th to 12 grade)

• Coed A, B, BB and C Divisions Great opportunity! • June 3 start 8 weeks with 2 weeks playoffs 15 hours of development skills - 3 hours a day • Prizes for winning team Five ways to be a better defense player • $50.00 practices, per playergames, or $400.00 per team (High level coaching, competition)

Cost : $100 Vicky Bullett former WNBA player, coach & hall of famer, Gold & Bronze Olympian will be at BP Sports Park for basketball camps.


IlluminAqua kicked-off on June 13th at the Merritt Park Amphitheatre on the floating stage set on the tranquil old Welland Canal. In partnership with the Seaway Mall, Sun Media, D’Angelo Printing Company and the City of Welland, IlluminAqua is excited to present its five (5) evening summer concert series. IlluminAqua’s July 4th performance is a veritable triple-bill with Niagara’s own upcoming country star, Chelsea Crites, leading off the evening. Country sweetheart, Whitney Rose, will then take to stage to wrap you around her finger with her upbeat ballads and spunky delivery. The evening will be capped with the dynamic and entertaining Abrams Brothers, providing the perfect blend of Americana and Bluegrass, coupled with a youthful excitement. An incredible talent and showman, Mark Masri, announces his return to the IlluminAqua Stage for the filming of his PBS Special on Saturday, July 5th. IlluminAqua is honoured to have been selected as the backdrop for this fantastic event. His reputation for melting hearts is internationally recognized and heightened by his ability to perform an array of songs in six languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish Hebrew and Arabic. With smoky intensity and jaw dropping range Mark Masri delivers emotion that will enchant any listener. Part Andrea Bocelli, part Luther Vandross, this artist has been and will continue to bring audiences to their feet. August 8th will showcase the amazing two-time Juno-nominated Bobby Bazini. This double bill evening of artists, whose roots are in Quebec, kicks off with Bazini’s unique pop-soul stylings and transitions into Quebec’s newest jazz-pop sensation. Florence K, takes the floating delivering a sound where jazz meets rock, meets blues, where horns and guitars are subtly blended together to make a wonderful new beat. This Montreal artist’s songs can be best described as having a fresh and original vibe and her voice shines like no other.

The IlluminAqua Season Pass is now on sale for $79.99 per person; an incredible package price that includes tickets to all five (5) concerts in the season and includes a $25 gift certificate from the Seaway Mall. Individually priced tickets for each performance are also available in advance and range in price from $20 – $28.50. All ticket purchases are subject to applicable sales taxes and ticket servicing fees. Tickets are available at www., Seaway Mall Customer Service or at Merritt Park on the evening of each performance beginning at 6 pm, while quantities last. IlluminAqua concerts take place at the Merritt Park Amphitheatre, 115 King Street in Welland. Performances start at 8:00 pm with gates opening at 7:00 pm each of the evenings.










IlluminAqua is a unique blend of fire, music, and water, all set on the tranquil Old Welland Canal. There is no other festival like this in Ontario, drawing people from across the province! IlluminAqua is part of the Waterway’s Arts and Culture Series, taking place at the Welland Amphitheatre in Merritt Park.

The 2014 IlluminAqua Arts and Culture Series closes with a much anticipated, award-winning solo artist and the lead singer, guitarist and song writing lynchpin behind multi-platinum Celtic-Pop heroes the Rankin Family. A dynamic live performer with an impressive catalog of hits, he moves effortlessly between Folk, Roots, Country and Pop stylings, taking his audience on an unforgettable musical journey from Cape Breton to Nashville, and back again. From one of the most nationally renowned east coast families in music the August 29th IlluminAqua performance is Jimmy Rankin from the Rankin Family. The talented artist delivers a dynamic live performance and has become a Canadian iconic, receiving five Juno awards among a long list of achievements in the music industry.






Pelham Panthers bring home the gold By Gianni Marinelli

Kudos to the players, coaches, parents and support staff of the Pelham Panthers Basketball Association (PPBA) for a spectacular and well deserved 2013 – 2014 season. Over 150 children aged 4 -17 were enrolled in their house league programs. The program also featured 140 children aged 7-17 in the club system. The Atom Girls (under 11) travel basketball team were very impressive this year with a 2nd place finish in Flamborough, a 3rd place finish in Rochester, NY and a 4th place finish in St. Catharines. But the icing on the cake was when the girls topped off a very successful season in London, Ontario where the team participated in the Division 3 Ontario Basketball Provincial Cup Championships for an all Ontario win to bring home the gold!
Both Coach Mete and Coach Vos are extremely proud of their girls. Other Club Team successes this year included the Atom Boys OBA Bronze Medalists, as well as the Novice Boys OBA Gold Medalists. Well done guys! PPBA is affiliated with No Limit Performance (NLP) and participants receive specialized skills training with the NLP crew.

Spring Training Sessions this year consisted of 5 weeks of skill development and 7 weeks of 3 on 3 and 5 on 5 competition. New to the program this year was the offering of specialized weekly skill development sessions for Grade 1 and Grade 2 girls. They will continue with this program and will also be offering it to Grade 1 and Grade 2 boys in the upcoming 2014/2015 season. Panther Basketball continues to focus on the individual’s development – both as players and as people. They provide an excellent environment for teaching and developing basketball skills. Participants learn to understand the game, foster sportsmanship, but most importantly have fun. Their mandate is to provide positive support to youth as they learn the fundamental skills and strategies of the game. They aid in the development of personal life skills, helping youth build their confidence, self esteem and self worth as they then learn and understand the importance of respecting others and putting the team first before the individual. They create an atmosphere that allows youth not

only to be better ball players, but better individuals. This non-profit association offers a house league program throughout Fenwick, Fonthill, Pelham, Thorold, Wainfleet and surrounding areas in area gyms, in addition to more competitive select travelling teams. The Pelham Panthers continue to grow and excel, and are expecting an even larger enrolment this year as they look forward to hosting as many as 12 travel teams this upcoming term. They are currently pumping it up behind the scenes as they prepare for the 2014 – 2015 period. Everyone is looking forward to another fun filled, successful and rewarding season. Registration will begin in September. All participants receive team and individual photos, a uniform and a year end banquet. As always, the association is looking for volunteers so contact them directly if you are interested in helping out. Visit or email for more information. Don’t miss out on an exciting and fulfilling season of basketball for both you and your family!

Atom girls win all Ontario gold! This first year team is made up of 11 dedicated girls who are playing in their first season of travel basketball together. Congratulations Girls! Front row(left to right): Lauren Cimato, Marina Belcastro Middle row(left to right): Madey Crawford, Fallon Gervais, Alissa Mete, Abigale Phillips, Katey Crawford Back row(left to right): Agi Mete (Head Coach), Klaire Marr, Jillian Landry, Sophia Belcastro, Calleigh Cunningham, Quinn Vos (Assistant Coach)



2014 SNRC ROWING PROGRAMS Meet New Friends • Get Fit • Achieve Success

WE HAVE PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES!! SUMMER PROGRAMS Summer Youth Rowing Camps (ages 12-15)

July 7 to Aug 1— $205 + HST Monday to Friday — 8:30am -11:30am Aug 11 to 29th — $185 + HST Monday to Friday — 8:30am - 11:30am

Train to Train July 7 to Aug 22 — $195 + HST Tuesday and Friday — 6:00pm -8:00pm

Adult Row for Heart (any age!)

July 7 to Aug 29 — $195 + HST Tuesday and Friday — 6:00pm -8:00pm

FALL PROGRAMS Competitive Rower Sept 2 - Oct 27— $337 + HST Daily - times to TBD Learn to Row (High School Students) Sept 6 - Oct 19— $120 + HST Saturday and Sunday — 9:00am - 12noon

Train to Train Sept 8 - Oct 27— $195 + HST Tuesday and Friday — 6:00pm - 8:00 pm For more information visit Or contact us by mail at SOUTH NIAGARA ROWING CLUB 26-200 Fitch St, Suite 225, Welland, ON L3C 4V9


Head Coach Swede Burak: 905-931-1380

SportsXpress Niagara July/Aug 2014  
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