Ontario Winter Box Lacrosse League for players of all ages and skill level League runs from January - March
Niagara Lock Monsters Team Schedule Games start at 2:00 pm at the Meridian Centre
Visit www.canadianlacrosse.com for more details
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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05 | Bethany Community Church Upward basketball 09 | The Welland indoor paddle tank
06 | 13 |
Highlighting all school sports and athletes.
14 | Niagara Academy of Sports
Special sporting events from the past.
11 | Team Canada 1972 hosts gala to launch new commemorative project
Information articles on sports health and fitness
Bridging the gap between our our perception of exercise and the reality of exercise Mental Game Coach
Profiling community sports in words and photographs. 07 | 08 | 08 | 10 |
Entertaining, informative and engaging articles on local athletes, sports and teams.
Niagara IceDogs move into the Meridian Centre St. Catharines Falcons in flight Mascovitch and Ilyushechkina to perform at ice show Thorold Blackhawks look forward to success in 2015
Front cover photo credit: Joel Smith Photography
Check out our website at www.NiagaraSportsXpress.ca
November/December 2014 PUBLISHER NIAGARA SPORTS ZONE Zoran Knezevic CoachZ@SportsXpress.ca 905-520-5509 EDITOR Jane Penteker GRAPHIC DESIGN Wendy Ferris CONTRIBUTORS Daredevils Lacrosse, Nathan Gatt,
Tim Tulloch, Jacklyn Willms, Mitch Brandner, Pam Archer, Madison Smith, Ralph Sacco Peter Steen, Gianni Marnelli, Ana Delgado, various sports enthusiasts, and the SportsXpress team
PHOTOGRAPHERS Welland Recreational Canal
Corporation, Terry Wilson/OHL Images, Ron Bowen, Niagara Academy of Sports and various sports enthusiasts.
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Coaching • Administration • Technology
Bethany Community Church Upward basketball By: Tim Tulloch
In 2009 Bethany Community Church in St. Catharines partnered with Upward Sports in Spartanburg, South Carolina to start a basketball and cheerleading program. Upward Sports has been running successful programs throughout the world. They have a lot of expertise and resources, and they share many of the same values. We feel that team sports are a dynamic tool to help develop a child physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. We teach and instill many of the tools and skills that children need to be successful in later life, no matter what career path they choose. We also believe youth sports can and should offer more — a life-changing experience that has a lasting benefit. We believe that parents see youth sports as a part of their child’s overall development. Many parents have become frustrated by the professional sports environment and the role models that their children experience along the way. That is why, in partnership with Upward Sports, we are embracing their new tagline of “Playing with Purpose.” We have created an environment in which all children can
play without the politics and pressure that we find in so many of our sporting organizations today. Our child-athletes are challenged to learn new skills and use them to compete at higher levels. We introduce children to a sport in a safe environment where they can learn without fear of ridicule, but also to challenge other children to raise the level of their game. We foster an environment that is both competitive and compassionate. At Bethany, we strive to make our program as familyfriendly as possible. Practices are held Monday and Thursday nights, and for families with multiple children, we try to schedule practices on the same night in order to free up other evenings.
the type of sports experience they were looking for for their child.
Our Upward coaches have access to outstanding resources both in print and online. Our referees act more like coaches on the floor, giving guidance and instruction, but also keeping players focused on playing within the rules of the game.
Upward Basketball has about 170 children participating in the program. We also offer ball hockey, soccer, and summer sports camps. For more information, contact Tim Tulloch at Bethany Community Church at 905937-5300 ext. 209. Visit www.bethanycc. ca/upward for more details. Registration is open now for the 2014-2015 Upward basketball and cheerleading season.
Upward basketball, and cheerleading (added in 2010), at Bethany Community Church has steadily grown and has been a great success. Our in-house co-ed program includes children from Senior Kindergarten to grade eight. All participants receive a uniform (jersey) and other sports-related gear. Our one-hour practice and one-hour game format each week allows time for instruction and also time for application of new skills into competitive situations. Our practices also include scrimmages, which creates an enjoyable learning environment. We start every game with player introductions, and we end every game with recognition of the development of the individual players. We have heard many parents say this is exactly
Bridging the gap between our perception of exercise and the reality of exercise By Jacklyn Willms
Humans are an amazing species capable of accomplishing great things. Yet many of us are our own worst enemies when it comes to exercise. We go to great lengths to convince ourselves that we simply cannot do it.
not to do it? Could it be that we are making too big a deal out of it? It’s possible that we set ourselves up to fail by thinking we have to go directly from living a fairly sedentary lifestyle to performing 100 handstand pushups?
Among the millions of excuses that people use not to exercise, the top five excuses are:
Let’s go a bit easier on ourselves by taking the time we put into making up excuses to not exercise into finding small ways to integrate exercise into our daily lives. Use the time you normally spend on reading about weight loss tips or the latest health fad to go for a walk outside or even to do some simple interval training in your living room. Rather than waiting for an elevator, why not take the stairs? The key to success is picking something small and simple and then sticking with it.
1. “I don’t have enough time.” 2. “I’m too tired.” 3. “I’m just not motivated.” 4. “It’s too expensive.” 5. “I’m sick or injured.” The common denominator for these five excuses is the lack of exercise itself. The reality is, we don’t have time to not exercise. While we can’t do anything about our genes, we can control our short- and long-term health through exercise. So, if exercise is so important to our quality of life, why do many of us choose
Whatever you choose to do, remember, there is no such thing as bad exercise. Start small and build up, over time, to three times a week for thirty minutes. Before you know it, you will be on a path to reaching your
goals. If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, see if you could find ways to spend time standing such as while you are on the phone, or during web conferences. If you enjoy zoning out in front of the TV, challenge yourself to take a brisk walk before settling into your favourite chair. It’s what you do daily for the rest of your life that will make all the difference. Give back to your body for all the amazing things it does for you!
Jacklyn Willms CSEP Certified Personal Trainer
www.jaclynwillms.com 289.257.8748 ExerciseTraining • Therapy SportsConditioning @trainerjaclyn @BiggestLoserN
Niagara IceDogs move into the Meridian Centre By Mitch Brandner
The 2014-2015 Ontario Hockey League season will be a little different than past seasons for the Niagara IceDogs. Located in the heart of St. Catharines is a brand-new, state of the art, multi-purpose facility, which the IceDogs will be able to call home in their first year of a 20-year lease. The Meridian Centre, located at One IceDogs Way, was built with a $50 million budget and is able to host all sorts of entertainment such as concerts and, obviously, hockey games. It has a capacity of roughly 6000 for concerts and 5300 for IceDogs games, which is almost double the capacity of the Jack Gatecliff Arena Complex. Being in the heart of St. Catharines, the new facility should help revitalize the downtown area and help local businesses thrive. A new facility also brings new opportunities. The Meridian Centre will host the BMO CHL Top Prospects Game on Jan. 22, 2015. It’s a game which features all of the best prospects for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft under one roof for scouts and fans to get a look at them. It’s a high intensity game, and it’s exciting for the people of the Niagara region to be able to see the event in person in the brand new facility. Construction on the Meridian Centre began in December 2012 and was
PHOTOS COURTESY OF TERRY WILSON/OHL IMAGES
completed after 22 months of work. The foundation includes 335 steel piles weighing more than 850 tonnes. Two pedestrian bridges connect the Meridian Centre to St. Paul Street. The North Bridge is located between James and Queen Streets, and the South Bridge is located across from William Street. There is parking for more than 1300 vehicles in lots and garages in downtown St. Catharines, all of which are easily accessible thanks to these bridges.
seats up to eight people and a hyperbaric chamber which is used to increase oxygen intake by three times the normal amount. There is also an athletic therapist’s room where players can get treatment for any injuries that may occur during the season.
The Jack Gatecliff Arena Complex, which was built in 1932, has been home to the IceDogs since they moved to Niagara in 2007. It was one of the oldest buildings in the Canadian Hockey League. The arena is rich with history and everlasting memories, but it was time to say goodbye. The IceDogs honoured the previous teams who called “The Jack” home throughout the 20132014 season with various ceremonies and tributes. The IceDogs are sad to leave “The Jack” but are excited for what the future holds in the Meridian Centre.
The IceDogs are honoured and excited to call the Meridian Centre home.
The new facility will provide players and fans alike with an unrivalled experience when they attend games. It has all the amenities and bells and whistles that anyone could ask for, including some great facilities for the players, like a brand new dressing room and player lounge, as well as an on-site weight room and training facilities. The players’ lounge features 24 theatre style seats in order to watch game film or do school work and relax. The lounge also features a kitchen area where postgame meals will be enjoyed by the players. The training facilities include a sauna which
St. Catharines Falcons in flight By Pam Archer
It’s mid-October, and the St. Catharines Falcons of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) are already showing why they’re a favorite to contend for the division title this season. At press time, the Falcons find themselves in third place with a record of 11–6–2, and they lead the league with 83 goals scored. President Brent Archer had this to say about the 2014-2015 Falcons: “We’re all very excited about the season at hand. The coaches and entire Falcon Administration have put together a great group of young men. They have displayed a strong work ethic both at practice and during games. On-ice they move with poise and confidence displaying some of the best teamwork we have seen from a Falcon team. We’re getting a solid effort from everyone, and you just get the feeling that this team is headed for the top.” Falcons’ home games are held at the St. Catharines landmark Jack Gatecliff Arena. Check out their website and schedule at stcatharinesfalcons.ca #91 Tyler Hildebrandt jamming up the middle
Moscovitch and Ilyushechkina to perform at ice show By Maria Bolibruck
Join us at the Thorold Figure Skating Club’s Carnival and Ice Show on February 21 and 22, 2015, at the Thorold Arena! We are excited and honored to welcome the new pair of Dylan Moscovitch and Luibov Ilyushechkina! The team was announced in June 2014, after a tryout in May. Dylan, who began his career in Toronto, has gone on to win a silver medal in pairs’ free skate during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. He hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to get started, and he told us, “Being at a high level in sport grants me the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives. I may not know when it happens or exactly what it was I said or did, but I know that I can inspire them to chase their dreams, which in turn inspires me to be a good role model.” Liubov, who is from Russia, is also looking ahead and has a good feeling about skating with Dylan; “I have the more immediate goal
2014 Olympic Medalist Dylan Moscovitch and new partner Liubov Ilyushechkina
of representing Canada successfully on the international stage this season as well as a longer-term goal of medaling at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.” Our club is still accepting new members at this time. The programs we offer are as follows: Can Skate, Learn to Skate Parent and Tot, Star SkatePre-Junior, Test Skaters- Junior, Intermediate, Senior, Adult Skate, and Intro to Synchro. You can also refer to our web site, www. thoroldskatingclub.com, for further information or contact Kim at (905)384-1871 or Amelia at (905)227-4181. The board of directors would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the businesses that have helped contribute over the years to our ice shows in order to make them successful.
The Welland indoor paddle tank By Madison Smith
What do canoe, kayak, dragon boat, and rowing have in common with the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC), apart from hosting races and practices from spring until fall? The WIFC features an indoor paddle tank that allows you to participate in these flatwater sports throughout the winter months! The Welland Indoor Paddle Tank delivers community sport and recreation programming in a multi-sport, moving water, variable speed training tank located at the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC), a legacy venue of Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Para-pan-American Games. The inaugural tank season will begin in October 2014 and run until March 2015 and is the equivalent of a treadmill but with water as the training surface instead of rubber. The indoor paddle tank is one-of-a-kind in North America, accommodating each of the four flatwater sports: canoe, kayak, rowing (both sweep and sculling disciplines), and dragon boat. The tank has many features, including adjustable water speed, which allows use by first time community members and national champions alike as the moving
water can be set at different speeds based on training needs and skill level. The program will provide a unique opportunity to the local community to experience various flatwater sports. Schools, community groups, and sporting teams and clubs are encouraged to grab a paddle or an oar and give flatwater sports a try! Whether you have stood on the podium at world competitions or have never been out on the water, this opportunity allows for individuals of all experience levels and all ages to participate no matter the season. The facility promotes the principles of physical literacy as outlined in the Canadian Sport for Life model. These principles are fostered through programming opportunities both in the tank and in the 2 000 square-foot fitness space, outfitted with free weights, weight equipment, cardio accessories, exercise machines, and ergs. The facility also features open space, ideal for housing yoga, Zumba, or any other instructor-led fitness group. Book your session at paddletank@ canalcorp.ca now to find out why you donâ€™t have to be outside this winter to make a splash! For further information regarding the Welland Indoor Paddle Tank, please visit: www.wifc.ca
Thorold Blackhawks look forward to success in 2015
By Ralph Sacco
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF RON BOWEN
For the Thorold Blackhawks of the Greater Ontario Hockey League (GOJHL), it was a summer filled with opportunities and challenges as we spent our days recruiting and building a new team. We were faced with many vacancies; last season’s roster had eight 20-year-olds, seven players moved on to Jr. A teams, and two more have taken a break from hockey to focus on school. 2015 is a time for growth, and we’re excited! Our general manager and head coach, Bryan Kelly, has done an excellent job of making sure all the pieces fit together, both on and off the ice. Bryan has been coaching in the league for the past six years and has earned everyone’s respect over that time. As a result, he has also recruited an incredible support staff. Peter Gallardi, former coach of 10 years with the Niagara Falls Canucks, and Dan Timmins, former owner and Sutherland Cup winner, are behind the bench and confident about this team. They feel they can get the most out of the players, playing like champions.
Dan Giancola, owner of BTO Performance and two-time Grey Cup winner, will be training the team. He knows what it takes to become a championship team. The players are working with him at his gym in Thorold. They’re working hard to develop their physical and mental skills. They’re preparing to win. Later this year we’ll also be unveiling of a new team logo. With a totally new team, coaches and ownership, Thorold will find great success in the GOJHL. All of this adds up to new excitement and energy that the team can draw from and bring it out to the ice. Needless to say, we’ve got big hopes for a great season!
Team Canada 1972 hosts gala to launch new commemorative project
Peter Steen - Director of Media & Communications
Members of the 1972 national men’s hockey team (a.k.a. Team Canada 1972) held a reunion gala in St. Catharines to celebrate the launch of their new legacy venture. The 28,800 Project (named after the total number of seconds in the historic Summit Series against the Soviet Union) brings the team back into the national dialogue with the story of their legendary comeback, emphasizing the complete team effort it took to achieve victory. “This is not so much about what we did,” said Pat Stapleton, a defenceman on that storied Team Canada and the man who spearheaded the project. “It’s about how we did it.”
Meeting the Team Members of the team — including head coach Harry Sinden and fellow Hall of Famers Brad Park, Phil Esposito, Rod Gilbert, Yvan Cournoyer, Jean Ratelle, Serge Savard, Bobby Clarke and Ken Dryden — arrived for a closed-door, private autograph signing session in the afternoon, which was followed by a packed reception prior to a gala dinner and show. About 400 audience members were treated to the team joining them for dinner, with many dining among the guests at their
tables. The event was emceed by Buffalo Sabres great Rene Robert, who introduced a few speakers before inviting Team Canada 1972 to the stage for an entertaining evening of Summit Series memories and stories. One special moment involved a tribute to Terry O’Malley, the Niagara-region resident who designed the team’s iconic jersey.
were crafted in Welland and signed by Sinden and members of the team Working closely with Hockey Canada, the legacy venture will produce an assortment of media for younger Canadians to promote the concept of team play through the eyes of Team Canada 1972, the only team inducted as a whole by Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and named by the Canadian Press as the “Team of the Century.”
Details of the Project St. Catharines was selected for the launch of the 28,800 Project because of the city’s historic ties with the team: approximately 30 of the 35 men on the team’s roster played at least one junior game at the Garden City Arena, six played for St. Catharines, and another three for Niagara Falls. Besides playing in St. Catharines, Dennis Hull also went to Brock University and taught at Ridley College.
The Route Forward Team Canada 1972 is currently planning a number of live events across the country as they gear up for the 45th anniversary of the Summit Series in 2017. “It’s amazing,” said Stapleton, “that interest in the team remains strong after all this time.” He points out that books continue to be published on the series, which pitted the best international team against the first collection of NHLers to represent Canada — and the first to be called “Team Canada.”
“This is really home for me,” he said. As Hull, Stapleton, and other team members explained, events like the gala provide funds for the 28,800 Project’s educational and charitable mandate; part of the evening’s proceeds were donated to the Niagara Children’s Centre, raised through sales of a limited-edition set of hand-made authentic copies of the original O’Malley sweater. The replicas
For more information, visit
teamprofiles 2014-2015 BSA Elite Squad Left to right starting back row: Kyle Hannon-Kozlowski, Jason Carter, Elijah Wanless, Matteo Costantini, David Jones, Brad Ditillio, Mathew Garrett, Devin Marques. Front row: Luca Kovinic, Jaden Noble, Blake McGowan, Mark Beck, Kyle Cameron, Ryan Williams, Gian Luca Delpriore. Back row - Coaches; Jeff Carter, Dino Costantini, Clayton Rosario, Mark Beck
2013-14 Squad Winnerâ€™s of The National Division of New York West Thruway League Left to right back row: Kyle Hannon-Kozlowski, Matteo Costantini, David Jones, Brad Ditillio, Devin Marques, Gian Luca Delpriore. Front row: Ryan Williams, Jason Carter, Black McGowan, Mark Beck, Kyle Cameron. Coaches back row: Jeff Carter, Dino Costantini, Clayton Rosario, Mark Beckww
Mental Game Coach
By Gianni Marinelli
Tiger Woods had one; so did Andre Agassi and virtually every pro golfer and tennis player! You can find one in the locker rooms and training camps of almost every college, major league and Olympic team. So, what is it they have? A Mental Game Coach! These top sports stars are smart, and many are all-time greats. Why do they have a mind coach? These individuals want to maintain their excellence, and, believe it or not, they still want to get better. They want every edge they can get because they know their opponents are using this mental advantage. What is a Mental Game Coach (Mind Practitioner) and how do you find the one that’s right for you? Well, the term “mind practitioner” itself is very broad one and there are at least 25 specialties to choose from. Maybe you are looking for a mental health professional,
guidance counselor, or to reduce your overall stress levels. Perhaps you’d benefit from working with someone to help you in business, stop a bad habit, or overcome a debilitating fear or phobia that might keep you from being successful on the presentation platform or in the competitive sports arena.
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Whatever your reasons for seeking a coach, they all, to one degree or another, help you to train your brain. Find your mind. Get your motivation in motion. The mental game encompasses every mind issue you can imagine in business, sports and life. Mental conditioning and framing will help you in these arenas and develop your awareness, learning, growth, change, habit formation, performance, coaching, mentoring, managing and leading.
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Niagara Academy of Sports By Ana Delgado
Niagara Academy was established in 1997 by Ms Lezlie Murch when she saw the need to combine tennis training with quality academics. This amazing vision would not only benefit student-athletes but would allow facilities to be occupied during the day rather than sitting empty. This project would also provide coaches with full time jobs developing strong tennis players. Frank Dancevic (ranked 148th by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP)) and Bruno Agostinelli, both tennis players and former Davis Cup players for Canada, attended Niagara Academy. Now known as the Niagara Academy of Sports, the Academy includes other sports such as golf, in partnership with Eagle Valley Golf Club, and football, in partnership with Duane Butler Football Academy. The academy has partnered with these two sport leaders to offer summer programs and a 10-month program which combines excellence in academic studies and high performance sports. Niagara Academy provides a small school setting for students in grades four through 12, SAT, ACT and TOEFL preparation. Students are encouraged to set athletic and academic goals and then are given the tools and guidance for success. While at Niagara Academy, students receive the personalized attention and support they need to develop the fundamentals of leadership, championship, and true excellence, as well as the ability to participate as part of a team. Niagara Academy strives to meet the goals of university-bound students while challenging them to realize personal excellence. We seek to admit qualified student-athletes whose athletic and
PHOTOS BY: NIAGARA ACADEMY OF SPORTS
academic abilities will contribute to and benefit from rigorous educational and highperformance training. All courses offered at Niagara Academy are at the Academic Level in accordance with the requirements of the Ontario Ministry of Education. Our sport programs are developed and delivered by qualified and certified coaches. All the physical, psychological, nutritional and competitive components are included in the 10-month program. Monitoring the progress of every athlete and communication with parents about the short-term and long-term plans contribute to the success of the program. Our teaching and coaching style fosters success at college, university and beyond. It is mainly structured, adaptive self-teaching, rounded out with group and individual learning to ensure that the students can perform consistently on their own initiative, while being fully capable of functioning in teams, as either team members or leaders. Niagara Academyâ€™s unique program has attracted students from all across Canada and the world. Since its inception, the program has been enriched by students from Argentina, Armenia, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Japan, Lebanon, Luxemburg, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, United States, and Venezuela. To help students adjust to life away from home and to ensure the happiness and well-being of the each student, students who come from outside the area live with carefully selected local families. Nine high performance tennis players and one football player will be graduating from Niagara Academy this coming June.
These students are aiming for university scholarships in the USA. We are confident that each one of these students will achieve the goals they have set for themselves, and all the investment parents, students and the Academy has put towards achieving these goals, will finally pay off. We are proud of our many accomplishments since 1997 and look forward to the continued successes of the student-athletes. Visit www.niagaraacademyofsports.ca or call (905) 562-0683.
2014/2015 Fall & Winter Programming KidSport Niagara Funding available for childrenâ€™s sports programs. Eligible families can apply by completing a grant application online at www.kidsportniagara.ca. For more information, email Shari at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-708-7364.
Free Skates: December 22, 23, 29, 30, 2014 & January 2, 2015 1:30-3:30 pm
For a full listing of pre-registration Recreation Programs & Classes, see pages 12-17. For the Pay As You Play Programming Schedule , see page 10. Leisure Guide availiable online at www.portcolborne.ca or at the following locations: Vale Health & Wellness Centre, Roselawn Centre, Visitors Centre, and City Hall.
CONNOR MCDAVID #97 “Power Edge Pro is something I truly believe in. I started training with Coach Joe when I was 10 and the years of the PEP Training Circuits and unique repetitions have been a major advantage for me. To watch PEP evolve and see where it is today is amazing. It’s truly the best trainer out amazin there.”
PEP Signs McDavid & Launches 2 New Products.
Power Edge Pro (PEP), the leader in small area/resistance hockey training, today announced that it has entered into an endorsement agreement with Connor McDavid of the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Erie Otters. The Erie Otter forward and projected rst overall pick for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft is a long-time student of Power Edge Pro. Power Edge Pro Founder, Joe Quinn, is pleased to also announce the launch of the McDavid Skills Series and the McDavid Dangler. The McDavid Skills Series and the McDavid Dangler are part of a developmental blueprint designed for hockey players to follow as they work to continually improve their individual on-ice skill development. The McDavid Skill Series includes exclusive training footage of Connor (aged 10 to 17 years old) demonstrating and providing voice over comments on a variety of the unique PEP skill training circuits. Power Edge Pro (PEP) is also pleased to announce Power Edge Pro Spring Hockey. PEP is now taking applications for Coaches, Teams and Players for the 2015 Spring Season. Power Edge Pro will focus on putting back player development into Spring Hockey. All PEP players will receive a McDavid Dangler and the McDavid Skills Series with their registration fee along with jersey & socks that players keep, Power Edge Pro training circuit practices run by Certiied PEP Instructors, and of course tournati ments to play in. To learn more email James Brook: email@example.com.