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Boys of Summer are back! Metros are Niagara’s premiere baseball team

Mavericks Hockey is here!

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Kathi Plug Power Skating: When passion finds a need in the community Learn, Parent and Tot (1993) and finally, Adult Power Skating (1995). Programs are built to create a fun, learning environment at an affordable price. The basic programs are all designed to help skaters progress to higher levels whether that be in a figure skating, ringette, or hockey.

When something is needed in a community, it isn’t always as noticeable as you would think. To make a start-up program successful, you obviously have to have a need but, more importantly, you need someone with a vision who is dedicated to see it through. In 1975, Eileen Clark Clarke, a mother of two girls, saw a need for a program that just taught kids how to skate. That sparked the distribution of 400 flyers resulting in over 700 replies. This prompted a response from the City of St Catharines as it was obvious that creating this program would be a good idea.

Watching Kathi on the ice is a treat! Constantly moving, she is attentive to everything that goes on during her programs. This isn’t easy considering the number of staff and skaters that participate but the programs keep groups in manageable numbers. Kathi also has specialized programs for kids with special needs. With thousands or skaters graduating from her programs, children of former students are now being taught a generation later! Growing from 400 participants in 1975, the programs now service over 1,200 participants each year. Talking with parents who are watching, it is clear that there is pride and happiness in having these programs available in Niagara. Kathi Plug’s programs run in four sessions throughout the year. Next up is the September session, but if you are interested don’t hesitate — the programs always run at capacity and spots don’t last long! Find out more information by visiting www.kppskate.cc

sportsfiles

JULY/AUGUST 2016 Niagara Region Edition

thelineup

sportsfiles

Tips, tactics and ideas are shared by athletes, coaches and fans. 03 | Kathi Plug Power Skating: When passion finds a need in the community 07 | Niagara Sport Commission’s 4th annual Sport Niagara Awards Breakfast 09 | Niagara Roller Girls take over the Haig Bowl

teamprofiles

Informative articles on sports health & fitness. 05 | The Mavericks are here Lincoln! 08 | Niagara Falls Soccer Club collaborates with Game On Mobile 10 | BP Phantoms: Still earning their bragging rights 12 | Niagara IceDogs hire former Assistant Coach Dave Bell 13 | River Lions helping Niagara to play a key role in Canadian basketball development 15 | Grand slam partnership takes Metros’ communications to new heights

behindthebench

Entertaining, informative and engaging articles on local athletes, sports and teams. 06 | 14 | 17 | 18 |

Can money buy happiness? Throw your winning team a pizza party! Teaching philosophy Teams that live together win together!

health&fitness

Up-to-date information on what is happening. 16 | Improving your performance with effective footwork

The recreation programmer at the time, Len McLellan, knew who he wanted to head up the program. Enter Kathi Plug who accepted the job in 1975 and is now in her 41st year of teaching the youth and adults of the Niagara community how to skate. Kathi eventually rebranded the program to include Power Skating (1982), Pre-school Learn-to-skate (1988), Adult to

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health&fitness

True North Training forms partnership to bring life to Grimsby Beach When True North Training’s owner/operator, Kirstyn Carruthers, decided to move his home-based business in the fall of 2015, there was one space he had his eye on, a vacant unit in the plaza building at 299 Lake St. in Grimsby Beach. It was a perfect opportunity!

transformation, now is the time to come in and check out the new look. The updated facility includes a fully equipped training facility with upgraded equipment as well as a full yoga studio equipped for hot yoga and much more!

JULY/AUGUST 2016 PUBLISHER NIAGARA SPORTS ZONE Kevin Erb Kevin@SportsXpress.ca 289-213-4949 EDITOR Gord Dearbon GRAPHIC DESIGN Ryan Corman CONTRIBUTORS Matt Bell, Brody Whetnam, J. Trevor Van Nest, Kathi Plug Power Skating, Lincoln Mavericks, Mark Danecker, Niagara Sports Commission, Niagara Falls Soccer, Niagara Roller Girls, Core Sport Communications, Residence & Conference Centre, Niagara River Lions, Johnny Rocco’s Pizza Wagon, the SportsXpress team and various local sports enthusiasts. PHOTOGRAPHERS Brody Whetnam, Kathi Plug Power Skating, Mark Danecker, Niagara Sport Commission, Niagara Roller Girls, Niagara River Lions, Johnny Rocco’s Pizza Wagon, the SportsX press team and various local sports enthusiasts. PARTNERSHIP Ajax/Pickering EDITIONS Brampton Chatham/kent Hamilton Kingston London Niagara Ottawa Sarnia-Lambton Waterloo Region Winnipeg

Since TNT’s move into the historic neighbourhood, the interior has been in a constant state of upgrading. Fast forward to July 2016, and the formation of a new partnership with Amy and Ryan and their amazing instructors from Grimsby Yoga and Wellness, and the beachside facility has turned into the premier health and wellness spot in Grimsby! With the whole space having undergone an impressive

Beleville/Quinte Brant Country Guelph Halton Region Lloydminster Mississauga Oshawa Whitby Peterborough Windsor Northumberland

PRESIDENT/CEO Walter Browning walter@sportsxpress.ca

See more of True North Training’s new look on page 19

299 Lake Street | Grimsby, ON | L3M 4M8

www.truenorthtraining.ca

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The Mavericks are here Lincoln! The journey had some twists and turns, and ups and downs but, in the end, it was all worth it for Jeff and Therese Tallman. The happily married couple are now the proud owners of Lincoln’s newest (and only) junior hockey club, the Lincoln Mavericks. As a crowd gathered at the Fleming Center on June 21, the arena’s first-ever Junior Hockey press conference took place. With the new logo and corporate sponsors proudly displayed, Jeff announced the core group of his front-office team, a group that includes experience, talent, and dedica-tion. This team will have an embarrassment of riches in the front office as Rob Babiak, a talented graduate from Brock University, brings his experience in professional baseball to the arena as vice-present of operations. Head Coach Mark Barrick headlines the impressive coaching staff. Mark has coached and developed many great players including some impressive NHL graduates such as “Jumbo” Joe Thornton (first-round Boston Bruins), Richard Jackman (first-round St Louis Blues) and Riley Sheehan (first-round Detroit Red Wings). The Mavericks have also landed two top-notch assistant coaches in David Tate

(owner of THT hockey) and Paul Gallardi, an expert at breaking down game film and regarded as one of the good guys in the game. The Mavericks are an expansion team that will drop the puck this September in a town that has not seen junior hockey of any kind since the 70s. It was then that a Beamsville Blades junior C team folded after years of poor showings and a declining facility. The new Fleming Centre, a game changer for the Tallmans, is a beautiful facility with an ample amount of seating and all the elements needed to house a fully

teamprofiles

functional junior hockey team. The team will play in the Greater Metro Hockey League (GMHL), which has been growing and gaining strength over its eight-year existence. The addition of Lincoln is the second team to stake its roots in the region joining the Niagara Whalers (based out of Port Colborne) — surely the birth of a great rivalry! The GMHL will bring a great level of hockey to the area as the league has seen players develop and move on to do great things. While the NHL remains the ultimate goal for some GMHL players, the league has seen players sign all over the world including the NCAA, ECHL, KHL, AHL, and, yes, even a couple who have made the big time! What the Mavericks want to accomplish is greater than the game of hockey — they want to become a way for the community to come together. With many great things planned, this team will not only be a junior team that the people of Lincoln have to call their own, but also a way to create a family in the heart of the town. The presence of junior hockey has been missing in Lincoln for too long. The Tallmans are excited to bring junior hockey to Lincoln and thereby help to make Lincoln a better place as they believe the team will be a great thing for the local community. For more information on sponsorship packages, including some unique gameday promotions, please visit the team’s website, lincolnmavericks.ca

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behindthebench

Can money buy happiness?

By J. Trevor Van Nest B.Comm. (Hons.), CFP® Founder/Owner, Niagara Region Money Coaches

For years we have been told that money doesn’t lead to happiness. So why is it that so many crave riches? Researchers recently tracked thousands of people in Germany who traded-up to a nicer house. Five years later, they did not report any more satisfaction with their lives. In contrast, people who spent money on experiences — whether trips, fancy dinners or a night of dancing — reported a significant increase in their happiness levels. Perhaps most interesting, giving money away is more likely to make you happy than spending it on yourself! When random passers-by were given a $5 bill and instructed to either spend it on themselves or spend it on someone else, those who gave it away reported feeling significantly happier that evening. In Happy Money, authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton analyze what spending choices maximize happiness. Here are some of their suggestions on how to buy joy.

How to buy joy 1. Buy experiences. Studies have shown that paying for trips or

special meals create more happiness than buying objects. Even spending a few dollars to play a video game or hear a song provides more lasting happiness than buying a few trinkets.

2.

Make it a treat. Humans adapt to everything, including things that make us happy. Research shows that we vastly underestimate just how quickly our pleasure will fade. Instead of cutting out ice cream completely, by limiting it to special occasions we can “revirginize” ourselves, renewing our capacity for pleasure.

3.

Buy time. While wealth theoretically allows us to outsource some of our most hated tasks, most people tend to overvalue money and undervalue time. Before you make a purchase, think: “How will this change the way I use my time?”

4.

Pay now, consume later. Paying up front and delaying your consumption is one way to increase your happiness on any given purchase. Vacations make us most happy because of the anticipation. Studies have shown that even waiting briefly before eating a Hershey’s Kiss makes it taste better.

5.

Invest in others. Research shows that spending money on others can make you happier than spending on yourself. This is true for the uber-wealthy who donate 90 per cent of their wealth, but it’s also true for poor Ugandan women who buy life-saving malaria medication for a friend. Earn your money, but to be happiest, it helps to spread it around. So, how will you buy joy this year?

Unsure of the Road to Take? Maybe it’s time to seek the guidance of a �lat-fee Money Coach.

Personalized and confiden�al advice is offered in all of these important categories: • Permanent Debt Elimina�on • Household Budgets that Work • Investment Por�olio Reviews • Divorcée Financial Advice

• Re�rement Planning & Cash Flow • Investor Educa�on • Paren�ng & Money Advice • ...and More!

Book your FREE no-obliga�on consulta�on today. Owner Trevor Van Nest, B.Comm. (Hons.), CFP® has personally helped hundreds of clients across Canada take control of their financial lives – with absolutely NO product selling.

289-969-4180 | 26 Hisco� Street, St. Catharines www.NiagaraRegionMoneyCoaches.com

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sportsfiles

Niagara Sport Commission 4th annual Sport Niagara Awards Breakfast Brock Wresting Team, Team of the Year

photo credit: AlbertArt.net The Niagara Sport Commission hosted the 4th Annual Sport Niagara Awards Breakfast on Thursday, June 9 at the Holiday Inn and Suites St. Catharines Conference Centre.

James Davis, Coach of the Year

Nine major awards were handed out to recognize the 2015 achievements of athletes, coaches, and supporters from across the Niagara Region in various sporting disciplines.

Mike Strange

Olivia De Bacco, Female Athlete of the Year

Mike Strange and Rod Mawhood

Julia Longo - Special Olympics Athlete of the Year

OXFORD LEARNING IS‌ A SMARTER SUMMER All Ages. All Grades. All Subjects.

ENROL TODAY!

oxfordlearning.com St. Catharines 905.685.8141

Join the conversation!

Proudly Canadian NiagaraSportsXpress.ca

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teamprofiles

Niagara Falls Soccer Club collaborates with Game On Mobile

The AC Douglas Tournament is Niagara’s oldest running organized soccer tournament. 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? Niagara Falls Soccer (NFSC) has a solid organizational structure that includes a backbone of volunteers, players, coaches, family and friends. Visiting teams from all across Ontario get the opportunity to not only play some fun, fast-paced exciting soccer, but also the opportunity to check out one of the eight natural wonders of the world! When a tournament is over half a century old, history plays a big part in its success but AC Douglas organizers understand that it is important to create new and unique experiences for participants. This year, a unique partnership has been formed between NFSC and Game On Mobile, a Niagara-based app developer. Game On Mobile’s mission is to provide athletes and their families with the ability to check scores as they happen. The app also provides standings, locations, and announcements. Game On Mobile’s app is free, with absolutely no strings attached,

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and currently has over 400,000 users with the number constantly growing worldwide.

Gameonmobile.com where it is downloadable on both android and Apple devices.

“Game On Mobile is going to be a huge help in making sure all players and coaches are informed at all times! With fast real-time scoring, this app is the future of sports event management. I would recommend this to every sports organization,” said NFSC Head Administrator Christina Starnges.

This partnership allows everyone involved in the tournament to have a convenient, more engaging, and user-friendly experience. This year’s tournament will run on August 6 and 7. More information is on the tournament website, www.acdouglastournament.com

NFSC is looking forward to offering the Game On Mobile app to players, coaches and parents so they can get directions to venues, view real-time scoring on all matches, view standings and updates, and get important announcements about cancellations and game changes. The app can be accessed through

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sportsfiles

Niagara Roller Girls take over the Haig Bowl Over its history, Saturday night at the Haig Bowl in St Catharines has had its fair share of events involving many sports in the arena. Originally the home of lacrosse, the basic outdoor structure wasn’t enclosed until 1973. The enclosed

stadium allowed the expanded Hag Bowl to include year-round usage and an indoor rink to support hockey. But, fast forward to 2016 and it’s an all-girls’ sport that is bringing people to the 150-seat building now operated by ballhockey.com. The arena has been repurposed to utilize the concrete playing surface; it’s now a perfect venue for Niagara’s very own roller derby team, the Niagara Roller Girls. These girls transform the arena into a real entertainment facility. Derby girls that are not crashing into an opponent on the floor can be seen giving back to

the team by selling 50/50 tickets, manning the merchandise shop, cooking delicious BBQ’d pulled pork and/or bartending — yes, the building is fully licenced! The taped-on playing surface is surrounded by chairs for spectators to catch the action right up close. Before the first bout kicks off, both teams stand for the national anthem. Then, in a sign of respect for their opponents, the home team coasts by the visiting team’s bench with all the players exchanging hand-slaps along the way. It’s when the teams line up to play, and the referee signals for the play to begin, that things get interesting and physical. While the DJ gets the crowd involved, the jammers from each team, usually smaller, quicker skaters, dart out to try and lap the opposing team’s players. Once a jammer has made it through the pack, it’s on the second lap that she starts to score points.

As the pack moves up the floor, action can be compared to a rugby scrum as the power and physical endurance is very obvious — these girls are tough! With unique nicknames (that match their colourful gear and attitudes) such as Smurf-a-licious to Rammin’ Ramona, the game definitely doesn’t lack physical contact. The Niagara Roller Girls have created something special. Not only have they brought the tough and unique sport of roller derby to Niagara, but have created what can only be described as a family atmosphere. They invite girls to prove they have what it takes to strap on the skates! The Niagara Roller Girls now have four teams that all play in Niagara: The Greenbelt Riot, The Sisters of Anarchy, Doomsday Darlings, and the Rink Rash Rebels. The Roller Girls are also grooming the next generation of skaters through their junior derby team, the Midway Mayhem for girls aged 10 to 17.

Want to be involved? The Niagara Roller Girls are looking for players, referees and volunteers. The 2017 Freshmeat Intake will take place in March so be sure to check out the Roller Girls website for complete schedules and updates,

www.niagararollergirls.com

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teamprofiles

BP Phantoms: Still earning their bragging rights!

By Matt Bell

The BP Phantoms core group has been playing for over 15 years with time split between Welland, Grimsby and, more recently, St. Catharines. The experience at BHi in St. Catharines has been the best, by far, from the aspects of ownership, officiating, and the facility itself. The covered rink is a big plus as you can play year-round

and always know you’re going to get a game in, unlike at other outdoor rinks where the elements dictate if you’ll play or not. When we moved from the Grimsby area to St. Catharines three years ago, we lost about half our team members but we’ve picked up some local players and have built a new group of guys that works well together. The best part about the team is our age range as the roster nowincludes the full spectrum from 18 to 53. With this makeup, our opponents (most being half our age) often think the game will be a “cake walk” but it usually doesn’t take long, once the game starts, for them to realize they have to give us more respect! Each player on the team knows his role and plays it well: from our stellar goaltending to our shutdown defence to our forwards who use their speed and buzz around the net. Several of our players are always among the league’s top goal scorers and points leaders. It’s a good thing that BHi keeps player stats as this usually leads to some bragging rights after the games when we meet at Boston Pizza, our sponsor for over a decade — hence the team’s name! While winning is nice, as we’ve won two championships in a row, at the end of the day, it’s about getting out there with the guys and having a good time. Getting some exercise doesn’t hurt either so winning is just the icing on the cake!

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REGISTER YOUR OWN TEAM THIS FALL – EMAIL bhi.stcatharines@ballhockeyinternational.com NiagaraSportsXpress.ca

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COMING SUMMER 2016

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Niagara IceDogs hire former Assistant Coach Dave Bell

By Core Sport Communications

It was a move that surprised many, but on May 27, the Niagara IceDogs announced that they had hired Dave Bell to be the team’s bench boss for the 2016 – 2017 hockey season. Bell had waited 12 years for his chance to take the reins, and the IceDogs decided he was the perfect man to help them build on this season’s playoff success.

ing position. However, it isn’t as though the IceDogs are unfamiliar with Bell’s work. He just spent the last three years working underneath previous Head Coach Marty Williamson in Niagara, after following him from the Barrie Colts, where he also served as Williamson’s assistant coach for two seasons.

Dave Bell has been a long-time assistant coach for clubs at both the OHL and AHL levels, assisting with the teams in Owen Sound, Barrie, Springfield and, most recently, Niagara. Throughout the years, Bell has paid his dues, learning from each of the head coaches he has worked with. Niagara is taking a chance with Bell, promoting him and giving him his first career head coach-

The IceDogs are looking to improve upon their strong finish this season in their Eastern championship run and the team feels that Bell is ready to take on this challenge. The 39-year old was an integral part of the IceDogs’ championship run. Even though he’s young, the team believes he has shown enough skill to take this next step and be the team’s bench boss.

Bell knows that a big part of his plan for next season will involve young talent. The IceDogs are set to be much younger next season, but Bell is excited about the opportunity! This is his chance to start fresh, something he has had the opportunity to be a part of in the past. With a younger roster comes a lot of hard work and trying days ahead, but it also allows Bell to see the big picture, work on the development of young talent, and create his team.

COMING SUMMER 2016

Bell hasn’t taken any time off since the team announced his new role with the hockey club, jumping right back into the swing of things in early June

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rosse | Multisport | Fun & Fitness Nike Sports Camps at Conestoga Basketball | Volleyball College (Kitchener)

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sportsfiles

River Lions helping Niagara to play a key role in Canadian basketball development When you google search the term “best Canadian basketball player” today, your result will be a lot different than if you had performed the same search in 2006. Back then, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone other than Steve Nash. Although a great player in his own right, he was at a different level than his Canadian peers. Fast forward ten years and Canada has taken some serious leaps in the right direction when it comes to developing world-class basketball talent. First overall pick in 2014, Andrew Wiggins, who first dunked a basketball of the age of 13, highlights a list of Canadians that includes Tristan Thompson, and Nik Stauskas who are a result of the Vince Carter era of basketball in Canada. Even the Toronto Raptors have groomed Corey Joseph a player who earlier last season came up through a Canadian Farm system, Raptors 905. Corey and the Raptors fell short to LeBron James and the Cavaliers but, with the recent conclusion of the NBA finals, it is easy to see why basketball is attracting more fans and more high-level athletes than ever before. With the addition of last year’s National Basketball League of Canada’s (NBLC) franchise in Niagara, the River Lions, we’re looking to ignite a passion in the region by inspiring young athletes and capitalizing on the player development in this time of growth in of basketball in Canada. With the inaugural season for the River Lions in the books, the team’s management is looking to increase the development of high-level basketball

by hosting and promoting unique events. The NBLC took a page out of the CFL’s playbook by holding an allCanadian draft. The River Lions jumped at the opportunity to host the NBLC’s first event, a pre-draft combine showcasing players from across Canada hoping to latch on with a NBLC franchise next season. With an increase in Canadian talent, the league is looking to keep good players in Canada to play a high level of basketball and grow to take the next step in their careers. The players that attended the combine were all graduates of Canadian Colleges and Universities within the last three years. The draft is another tool that league commissioner David Magley is using to help build a better relationship with all of the Canadian school programs. It’s the beginning of something special as the NBLC continues to grow the game in Canada. With the league looking to add more teams again for its 2016/17 season, this is a great time to be a basketball fan in the Niagara area. With the start of the second season in franchise history just around the corner, the River Lions are working on improving their roster and overall quality of the game experience for their fans — a higher level of entertainment and excitement!

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behindthebench

Throw your winning team a pizza party! There is really never a bad time to throw a pizza party and Johnny Rocco’s is here to make it happen! The Pizza Wagon is taking Niagara by storm, producing one of the region’s best on-the-go pizza experiences. Pizza Wagon is ready to cater your leagues next big event! The pizzas come straight out of the oven and are handcrafted using the freshest ingredients on a crispy crust with bubbling cheese melted to perfection. Pre-set menus are available with classic choices such as Margherita, Vegetariana, Sicilian, Chicken Alfredo, and Wild Mushroom! Looking to step it up a notch? Well, Johnny’s favorites include a gourmet Salumi, Calabrese and, of course, Johnny’s signature pizza – a mouth-watering combination of chicken, proscuitto, pepperoni, kalamata olives, mushrooms, hot peppers and mozzarella cheese on a homemade pizza sauce.

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Hungry yet? The menu doesn’t end there as the Wagon also offers many options for sides and dessert — you can even add your own custom pizza! The secret to the Pizza Wagon’s success is the wood burning oven that cooks at over 425 degrees C. and produces a fully cooked pizza in only three minutes without sacrificing quality. Staff ensure that everyone enjoys fast, reliable service with a gourmet taste! The truck is now servicing the entire Niagara region so you’ll see the Pizza Wagon at various food truck events being held throughout the summer and fall months. So, don’t wait toreward your team with a pizza party that they will remember as dates are booking up fast. The Pizza Wagon also caters wedding receptions, birthday parties, graduations — any event that could use a pizza!

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teamprofiles

Grand slam partnership takes Metros’ communications to new heights By Core Sport Communications

The Niagara Metros are the Region’s premiere baseball team, suiting up against some of the province’s best clubs on a regular basis as part of the COBA Major League. So, it makes perfect sense that a top-tier club on the field requires an equally impressive performance online. And, thanks to Core Sport Communications, they have just that! The Metros, in continuing to expand their reach, have connected with a number of businesses from Niagara and beyond, including Core Sport Communications (Core). Having already worked with local clients such as the Niagara River Lions, Youngs Sportsplex and more, there was a great fit for Core to tie in with Niagara’s baseball mainstays as well — a partnership that has continued to flourish throughout the season. “The relationship with Core has been tremendous since day one,” said Metros General Manager Jono Marcheterre. “The personal touch and clear devotion to getting to know the client is the hallmark of their service, whether they are seeking opinions

on a uniquely developed creative idea or providing their expertise on my own ideas.” Thus far in 2016, the Metros have achieved a number of memorable moments. The club currently sits atop COBA Major’s Johnson Division, putting in a number of convincing wins along the way. Beyond the field, the team has run a pair of incredibly successful community initiatives, including the 4th Annual Metros Golf Tournament and the inaugural Metros High School All-Star Showcase. But, certainly one of the most noteworthy aspects of the 2016 Metros’ season is their revamped communications. Marcheterre stated, “Core used our existing platforms and introduced us to new ways to get our brand out, all of which allows us to send out a much clearer message.” Thanks to Core, the team has a new-look game day program, a consistently clean and updated website, and a number of engaging social media platforms. Additionally, Core has contributed to the team’s game day recaps, which can also be found across the team’s many online platforms.

“Their work is comprehensive and they offered us a variety of platforms to better market our club and our corporate partners,” added Marcheterre. Not only has the relationship been beneficial for the team, but also those who interact most frequently with the St. Catharines-based club. According to Marcheterre, the feedback he is getting from the team’s fans and corporate partners shows that their stakeholders are “incredibly pleased with the value and information they are receiving.” The Niagara Metros’ season will continue over the coming months, highlighted by a number of key tournaments still to be played. As the team looks to cement their position as one of the best in Ontario, it can rest easy knowing that its communications are in good hands with one of the best as well. Marcheterre summed it up, “I cannot say enough positive things about the Metros’ relationship with Core and we are looking forward to continued success in the partnership.”

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health&fitness Crossroads Corner

Give the foot... then take a mile By Mark Danecker

What do you bench? What is your vertical jump, and 40 meter time? Physical minimum standards utilized as “price of admission” performance benchmarks can be employed to determine which athletes are invited to try out for certain elite-level programs. Given then that each member of this group of athletes has achieved the standards, what skill could possibly allow an athlete to stand out amongst the talented?

Footwork. The ability to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction quickly and precisely is a measure of one’s agility, the foundation of which is built upon effective footwork. Mastering sport specific footwork is absolutely essential in the pursuit of both elite performance and injury prevention. For example, superior footspeed and deceptive lateral agility serves Pittsburgh Steelers

running back Le’Veon Bell to both maximize his yards-gained and minimize the potential for injury by relegating head-on collisions to glancing impacts. These principles apply to all sports that encourage contact such as hockey and rugby, as well as those sports that tolerate incidental contact, such as soccer and basketball. Though many elite athletes are seemingly gifted with inborn balance, agility, and body awareness, every single athlete, whether an inexperienced amateur or seasoned professional, will realize substantial improvement in performance through frequent and intensive sport specific agility and footwork drills. While most athletes enjoy practising their shooting skills, few are motivated to focus on mastering their footwork. Though precise shooting often results in glory, it is proficient footwork and agility that allows an athlete to position himself/herself to implement these skills.

are available online, allowing the athlete to supplement those drills employed by the team trainer/coach during practice. Should a lower body or spine related injury occur, the physiotherapist or athletic therapist should include appropriate footwork, agility, and balance exercises in order to maximize the athlete’s recovery and help prevent re-injury. Three-time Heavyweight Champion of the World, the late, great Muhammed Ali, was the master of deceptive and effective footwork skills which allowed him to “float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee” with devastating results. Enough said.’

Footwork/agility drills are easily practised at home with minimal equipment, such as cones, an agility ladder, and skipping rope. To be considered a complete athlete, one must first become a student of his/ her game, researching the fundamentals of one’s chosen discipline, and mastering every aspect of the sport. Comprehensive and progressive agility/footwork programs

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

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905-682-5500 CROSSROADSPHYSIOTHERAPY.CA

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Teaching philosophy We all have a swing, some different than others but with the same concept in mind — get the ball to the hole in the least amount of strokes possible. It sounds simple but can be a very complex task without understanding the basics of getting that little ball to the hole.

Brody Whetnam’s background • PGA of Canada Class “A” Professional • Past Director of Operations Hunters Pointe Golf Course, Welland, ON

No one likes change, but with change comes failure from adjustment until we generate a new sense of confidence and understanding. We are going to make mistakes! Einstein stated, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

• Past Head Golf Professional /Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Twenty Valley GCC, • Past Head Golf Professional/General Manager, Paris Grand CC • Past Head Golf Professional/General Manager, Parry Sound GCC • Past Assistant Professional at Grand Niagara CC, Peninsula Lakes GC & St. Catharines GCC • Level III Teaching & Coaching Certification Program (TCCP) • Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Certi fied Instructor • Ping Golf certified club fitter • 18 years experience in teaching thou sands of hours lessons to players of all levels • Specialize in introducing ladies and juniors to the game of golf through informative group lesson programs

The meaning of insanity is “repeating something over and over and expecting a different result.” Yes, that is crazy, but understanding that we all learn in different ways, it is important that we understand why.

When we understand why the ball goes in a certain direction, we get to the root of the problem at hand. By using a proactive approach, we do not use a “band aid” to repair the issue but break it down to where the student can make an adjustment with the simplest of methods. That is a rational and healthy approach to any situation. The game of golf is not a game that we just pick up a club and swing, but a game where we pick up that exact club and learn how to swing. Once we learn how and why, we answer a lot of questions and build confidence. Confidence builds character and, most of all, fun!

behindthebench By Brody Whetnam

Chris Poulouski Married – For 16 years to Leya Kids – Proud dad of two boys Brendan (13) & Keenan (10) • Started playing golf at eight at Brock Golf Land with his dad and uncles. • As a teenager, joined the Municipal Golf Course in St. Catharines and then took lessons from Cathy Sherk at Sherkwood Golf School. • Worked in the back shop at Lookout Point in 1990 where he turned pro in 1994 under Gord McInnis. • Moved to Grand Niagara in 2006 and taught under Bill Madonna out of Orlando, FLA, who is annually recog nized as one of America’s top 100 Teachers by Golf Magazine and Golf Digest. • Moved to Sparrow Lakes in 2009 as the Head Golf Professional. • Along with working at Sparrow Lakes, is joining the Bradlee Ryall Golf Academy at Royal Niagara this coming season.

At the end of the day, golf is a game — enjoy it

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behindthebench

Teams that live together win together! Submitted by the Residence & Conference Centre – Niagara-on-the-Lake & Welland

With the spring season now upon us, athletes from all across North America are starting to make their travel plans for tournaments and games that will be taking place across the continent. With Niagara quickly becoming a major sports destination for both elite and amateur athletes, players and their families can find themselves travelling to compete multiple times a month, adding to the already costly rates for registration, equipment, etc. The Residence & Conference Centre (RCC) is a very affordable option for sport teams, officials, and accompanying friends and family travelling on a budget. The RCC has two great locations in Niagara: one on the Niagara College campus in Niagara-OnThe-Lake and the other on its campus in Welland. The locations are both fully booked during the school year as student dorms

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but, in the summer, the RCC is transforms them into ideal locations to host sports teams coming into Niagara. With a price point of around $89 per night, the RCC locations in Niagara have successfully hosted teams for many different sporting competitions including last year’s World Dragon Boat Championships and events held at the Welland International Flatwater Centre. RCC has proven capable of hosting large scale events! “Once team officials understand what we are offering compared to traditional hotels, we truly become an ideal location for teams looking for a hotel-alternative at a reasonable price point,” remarks Mike Parente, Sales and Conference Manager of both locations. Each location has over 100 private, two-bedroom suites with a bathroom and

kitchenette. The locations also have conference rooms that can be utilized by coaches and teams during their stay. The RCC makes it clear that their facilities are different from the traditional hotels with respect to some luxuries. That being said, teams can take advantage of the dorm-style rooms by making their own meals (saving time and money) and having the entire team stay together in one central place. So, for a great teambonding experience, don’t hesitate — teams that live together will win together! Call your friendly staff at RCC to book your team today. For group discounts and inquiries, please contact Mike Parente, Sales & Conference Manager at 905-641-4435 Ext 2009 or email mparente@stayrcc.com

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