Campus Life

Region, Nation, or Borderland? Sport and Social Relations in the North Atlantic World, 1867-Present

Join Dr. Leeworthy on Nov. 10, at 2 p.m. in the Homburg Centre (HC211)

Facebook Event Page: Speaker Series: Region, Nation, or Borderland? 


In the year of Canadian confederation, 1867, a lacrosse team crossed the Atlantic from Canada to conduct a tour of Britain and Ireland. It left behind a legacy of lacrosse playing subsequently matched by enthusiasm for hockey, basketball, and baseball. Seen from the Anglophone power centres of the North Atlantic World, London and Dublin, these sports have little relevance to British and Irish society. But from the bottom up? This talk explores the relationships between regions, nations, and borderlands, and argues that although the sports people play may be much the same, the social and cultural reasons differ depending on which direction you look at sporting history.

About Dr. Daryl Leeworthy

Currently he is an Associate Tutor at Swansea University in the Department of Adult Continuing Education and a visiting research associate at the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health. 

More information? Contact:

Maritime Baseball Memories Today

November 3, 2017

Facebook Event Page: Speaker Series "Maritime Baseball Memories Today" 

Come share your memories of the rich history of Maritime Baseball.  Swap stories about the players, teams, rivalries and the place of baseball in community life over the years.  

One of Canada’s leading sport historians and former member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame selection committee, Dr. Colin Howell will talk about a time when Maritime baseball sent dozens of players to the major leagues.

Jim Myers is a former baseball player from Cape Breton and member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  He will talk about the Colliery League in the 1930s, the only Maritime league to be formally affiliated with baseball’s minor league system. 

More information? Contact:

Sport as Religion: "Media, Trauma, and the Religion of Sports. Making Football Saints After Hurricanes and Illness"

October 27, 2017

Facebook Event Page: Speaker Series "Media, Trauma and the Religion of Sports" 


When the New Orleans Saints played the Atlanta Falcons in the first game in the Superdome since Hurricane Katrina, safety Steve Gleason blocked a Falcons punt, initiating what many in the media called the “rebirth” of New Orleans. Gleason now has ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, making him a complicated symbolic figure. This talk will consider Gleason’s story as a window into both limiting and liberating media coverage of sports, tragedy, illness, and disability. 

About Dr. Sean O'Neil and His Research

A Visiting Research Associate at the CSSH and faculty member in Religious Studies at Colby College, the title of Dr. O’Neil’s talk is “Media, Trauma, and the Religion of Sports: Making Football Saints in the Wake of Hurricanes and Illness.” Dr. O’Neil is a dynamic young scholar whose work touches upon the intersection of sport, media, injury, disability, social trauma, and religion. His work reflects the interest of the CSSH in fostering critical analysis of the place of sport in society and debates pertaining to individual health and social well-being. Dr. O’Neil is presently completing a manuscript for the University of Tennessee involving athletes who suffered catastrophic, life changing injuries, their resiliency, and their strategies for remaking their lives.

More Information? Contact:

Playgrounds and Podiums: Contemporary Issues in Sport

September 29 & 30, 2017 

The conference was held on the Saint Mary's campus. The goal of the conference hosted an interdisciplinary discussion that critically approached sport from various methodological perspectives within the humanities and social sciences, while at the same time bringing academic researchers together with members of the wider community who share an interest in sport and recreation -- professionals, coaches, officials, parents, athletes, etc. 

To kick off the conference, on Friday evening in the Scotiabank Theatre, Dr. Bruce Kidd, from the University of Toronto, gave the keynote address. His talk was titled "The Canadian Sports System at 150: Achievements and Challenges." Many of you will be familiar with Dr. Kidd's remarkable career: from teenage distance running sensation, to Commonwealth Games gold medalist, to athletes' rights advocate, to leading historian of sport, to social activist working to end South African apartheid and combat homophobia and promote gender inclusion in sport. Constant throughout Dr. Kidd's career has been the pure joy he finds in physical activity and his desire to ensure that opportunities to enjoy the benefits of sport and recreation are widely shared throughout Canada and the world. In his keynote address, Dr. Kidd addressed the current Canadian Sport Policy and its uncritical focus on high performance over other objectives, in the context of the long trajectory of aspirations for a nation-building sport system from Confederation to the present time.  

On Saturday, there was talks by students and faculty, including an interdisciplinary panel presentation by faculty from Maritime universities. The panel, titled "Confronting Sport Myths," featured Dr. Colin Howell, a sport historian from Saint Mary's University; Dr. Robert Pitter, a sport sociologist from Acadia University; and Dr. Charlene Weaving, a sport philosopher from Saint Francis Xavier University. For the remainder of the day, students and faculty will presented talks that touched on such topics as body image and eating disorders, masters athletes, gender diversity and equity, parental involvement, physical literacy, and long term athlete development. 

Questions? Please contact conference organizers at


Canada's Sports Hall of Fame 2016

October 25, 2016 

Each year Canada's Sports Hall of Fame inducts distinguished athletes and influential members of the Canadian sporting community, who have demonstrated tremendous success on and off the field. Induction into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame is deemed our country's greatest recognition of athletic achievement, solidifying inductees' legacy forever in sporting history. Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Honored Member Selection Committee consists of 13 highly regarded individuals, including Dr. Colin Howell, Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health. Dr. Colin Howell is presently serving a five-year term on the CSHofF selection committee. The selection committee has announced the Class of 2016, which includes six athletes and one "sport builder", whom truly embody the values of all Canadians. "This is a remarkable group of inductees", says Dr. Howell, "and I am particularly gratified among them are two distinguished Nova Scotian athletes, Colleen Jones and Sue Holloway". This year's class of outstanding athletes have positively impacted the lives of other athletes and citizens, and have served as Canadian ambassadors in the global sporting community. 

The 61st Induction Class to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame's: 

  • Michael "Pinball" Clemons, four-time Grey Cup Champion with the Toronto Argonauts, Football  
  • Stephanie Dixon, 19-time Paralympic medalist and world record holder, Para-swimming 
  • Dr. Frank Hayden, creator of the worldwide Special Olympics Movement, Builder
  • Sue Holloway, four-time Olympian, and the first woman to represent Canada at both the Summer and Winter Olympic games in the same year, Kayaking and Cross Country Skiing
  • Colleen Jones, two-time World Champion and youngest skip to ever win a Canadian Women's Championship, Curling
  • Annie Perreault, three-time Olympian and double Olympic Gold medalist, Speed Skating 
  • Bryan Trottier, seven-time Stanley Cup winner, Hockey 

The induction celebrations are set to take place on November 1, 2016 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Ontario. If you would like to discover more about Canada's Sports Hall of Fame or are interested in attending the event, please click here.

Russell Field Studying Sport in Africville

September 11, 2016

An assistant professor in the faculty of kinesiology at the University of Manitoba, Russell Field, had recently relocated to Halifax to take on a new role as a fellow researcher at The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health. Recently, he sat down with The Coast to discuss his project, "A People's History of Canadian Sport" which examines sport and recreation in the once Africville area of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Fields research includes a case study focusing on a wokers' gym operated by the One Big Union, once a trade union organization located in Winnipeg. Check out Russell’s entire interview with The Coast, here.

CSSH Fall Newsletter 2016

September 10, 2016

The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health had a successful summer, which included its launch of the Student Athlete Resiliency Workshop. Our team, at the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health is pleased to release our most current community engagements, research initiatives and partnering projects. Dr. Larry Holt, will be launching his video regarding changing the philosophical mindset of sport performance, called "The Science of Sport". The video series includes an in depth injury analysis on the great, Tiger Woods. The series is set to launch in December 2015. Further, CSSH has had the pleasure of hosting visiting researcher, Sean O'Neil PhD. Sean recently hosted a presentation called "Bodies as Weapons and Temples", focusing on the NFL concussion crisis at the intersection of sports, film and religion. The presentation was open to all student athletes at Saint Mary's University and helped bring into perspective the true dangers of concussion in sport.

Read the full newsletter here- CSSH Fall Newsletter

Cultural Safety with Beijing Normal University

July 25, 2016

For the second consecutive year, The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health, had the opportunity to work with the administrative and student delegations from Saint Mary’s University partnership institution, Beijing Normal University, China. This special engagement allowed students and faculty from Saint Mary’s University and Beijing Normal University to foster our intercultural relations through sharing various educational, cultural, and administrative practices.

The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health was granted the opportunity to guide the BNUZ administrative and student delegations through our Cultural Safety Workshop, which is carried out during Welcome Week at Saint Mary’s for over 600 first-year students. The presentation focuses on creating a safe and respectable environment at Saint Mary’s, where all students are encouraged to share their opinions and explore their cultural differences.

The workshops were led, organized and, facilitated by members of our team at the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health, which includes students and athletes from across Canada and China. Heidi Weigand, Director of Community Relations and Research at the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health, organized an internationally diverse team including: Nikolas Shymko, Xiaoyue Lyu, Tong Li, Xiand Li, Weicheng Zhao, Hannah Steinburg (SMU Women’s Volleyball), Mike Curtis (SMU Men’s Hockey) and Andreas Robinson (SMU Men’s Football). The Centre looks forward to nurturing our relationship with Beijing Normal University in the years to come.

Football Nova Scotia Student-Athlete Resiliency Workshop

June 25, 2016

The Student Athlete Resiliency team was back in action working with 46 high-performing young athletes from the Nova Scotia Provincial U15 football team.  The workshop was led by Saint Mary’s varsity athletes Kanaar Bell, Mike Curtis, Hannah Stienburg, D’Shawn Miller and alumni Damone Blackman based on the positive leadership research from Heidi Weigand at the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health.  The Student Athlete Resiliency Workshop permitted the young provincial players with an opportunity to gain knowledge and insight in achieving athletic success from a talented group of student-athletes who have faced adversity and high-pressure games throughout their athletic careers.  The workshop focused on creating a two way ‘safe’ dialogue, sharing personal athletic experiences, setbacks, and discussing how the SMU student-athletes utilized their resiliency skills to overcome adversity.

The STAR workshop focused on 4 aspects contributing to on-field success as a team:

  • Stress Management 
  • Developing the Mind of a Champion 
  • Healthy Decision Making 
  • Self-Confidence 

Team Nova Scotia went on to play Team New Brunswick the following day and was able to achieve a commanding victory with a final score of 40-19. Team Nova Scotia’s Head Coach was very satisfied with the team’s performance, specifically commenting on the aspects focused during the STAR workshop. “They really came together. I followed up on the theme of getting mentally "Locked In" at the start. Huge improvement from the first game in focus, intensity, enthusiasm and teamwork.”, said Head Coach Brian Wood. “They even developed a little healthy swagger which was nice to see.”

The Hockey Conference: Call for Abstracts

October 30, 2015

Hockey has become an essential element in defining who we are as Canadians. It would seem that every Canadian has engaged with the sport of hockey in one form or another throughout their lives. In 2001, The Hockey Conference was developed "to provide a broad spectrum of like-minded individuals with an opportunity to gather and analyze hockey writing from many perspectives". This year's keynote speaker is Chad Rylan Denny who was raised in Eskasoni First Nations (Nova Scotia), and is a former member of the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Hockey Conferece 2016, is set to be held by the University of New Brunswick from, July 6-8th. As of October 30th, The Hockey Conference invites abstract submissions from scholars and artists in various fields whose work engages with the sport of hockey. Submissions will be accepted until December 4th, 2015.

To learn more on becoming involved- The Hockey Conference‌

Student Athlete Resiliency Workshop - Varsity Football

September 15, 2015 

Saint Mary’s University is committed to preparing their first year student-athletes with resiliency training to help first years to succeed on and off the field. On September 15th, The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health delivered their second Student Athlete Resiliency Workshop (STAR) for all first year varsity football players at Saint Mary’s with over 40 first year football teammates in attendance. The workshop was led by fellow student athletes; Nikolas Shymko(Football), Laura Langille (Basketball), Kanaar Bell (Football) Andreas Robinson (Football) and Erin Smith (Volleyball).

The Student Athlete Resiliency workshop focuses on helping student athletes reach their full potential both academically and athletically. Student-Athletes are taken through an engaging two-hour workshop exploring the potential stress and anxiety issues that can occur when balancing varsity level academic and sport schedules.  These students are trained in stress management and resiliency techniques to help students succeed and bounce back faster from setbacks on and off the field. The first year football players participated in exercises helping them understand the effects of stress and anxiety on performance. In addition, the players developed skills to recognize signs of unhealthy stress and implement various positive coping skills and stress management techniques to help reverse the potential downward spiral that can occur after a setback.

Each year countless Saint Mary’s varsity athletes are awarded the title “CIS Academic All-Canadian” demonstrating our athletes’ reputation to excel in the classroom while maintaining a rigourous sport training and performance regime. The Student Athlete Resiliency Workshop provided the young men with tools to achieve academic success throughout their career at Saint Mary’s, and informed them of the various resources on campus available to help them succeed. Student athletes at Saint Mary’s hold a respectable presence on campus through their extensive work with the university, community and engagement among international students. An additional component of the training included cultural safety, time management, budgeting, and encouraging student-athletes to join societies and other initiatives on campus to further discover their talents outside sport and academics.

The workshop emphasized the importance of resiliency in all aspects of life, and challenged athletes to dig in deep to embrace their GRIT (perseverance and effort over long periods) when facing adversity. The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health is looking forward to running our next Student Athlete Workshop with fellow Saint Mary’s varsity teams this fall.


 Erin Smith (left), Nikolas Shymko, Andreas Robinson, Kanaar Bell, Laura Langille 

Safe @ SMU

September 10, 2015

As part of the Saint Mary’s University ‘Welcome Week’ activities and the University’s Action Report, the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health co-developed a one-hour student-led Safe @ SMU workshop for all first year Saint Mary’s University Students. The workshops were developed with student-leaders to embrace the authenticity of the student experience grounded in academic research. Safe @ SMU focused on three key areas; sexual consent; cultural safety; and academic safety. Safe @ SMU was run eight times over a two-day period with over 400 first year Saint Mary’s students participating in the workshops. The workshops proved to be engaging, energetic and safe for all student participants. More workshops will be run throughout the year.

Sexual consent by nature can be an awkward topic for young adults to discuss and feel comfortable speaking to others about. The objective of the Safe @ SMU workshop was to create awareness of what is CONSENT and how all students can play a role in keeping our campus safe. The workshop focused on developing awareness of sexual consent through activities led by student leaders in a safe setting to enhance the student buy-in to the learning experience. The workshop emphasized the role of bystanders – taking action to support peers in unsafe or risky situations, which can include asking for help from others or notifying campus security.

The second part of the workshop focused on Cultural Safety, the ability for students to feel comfortable expressing their diverse views and recognizing that our students don’t all have the same background or learn the in the same way. International students at Saint Mary’s University contribute to over 30% of total enrolment each year. Cultural safety focused on cultural barriers created through language differences, cultural symbols and educational backgrounds. For example, the gift of clock to a Canadian student would not be offensive, but if gifted to a Chinese student it could be an insult implying you wish death upon them. The workshop focused on providing insight into differences and how to keep an open mind when students and their peers have differing opinions in and outside of the classroom. We embrace the ‘Transcultural’ approach to learning.

Safe @SMU was a tremendous success enhancing Saint Mary’s reputation as a leader in diversity and innovative student engagement.  Safe @ SMU was co-developed by Heidi Weigand (director, Centre for the Study of Sport and Health) and our team of Saint Mary’s University student leaders; Jean Legault, Laura Langille, Dongsheng Li, Lukundo Nakazwe and 25 student-facilitators from our Student Resiliency Training Workshops.

The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health is currently in the process of developing new workshop initiatives to further engage the student body at Saint Mary’s University with our student-development team (Nikolas Shymko, Kanaar Bell, Laura Langille, Erin Smith, and Andreas Robinson).

 In the News…

“SMU frost take seminar on consent” -

“Saint Mary’s counters rape chants with workshops” -

“Maritime universities focus on campus safety”  -

Student Athlete Resiliency Workshop - Highschool Athletes

June 30, 2015

The Centre for the Study for Sport and Health presented a pilot workshop aimed at developing resiliency and stress-management skills in student-athletes. The Student Athlete Resiliency Workshop was developed by a group of successful student-athletes from SMU including Nikolas Shymko (football), Selina Fortier, Kanaar Bell (football) and Laura Langille (basketball). 

The Student Athlete Resiliency Workshop hosted grade 11 and 12 student-athletes from the HRM who will be competing at the CIS level next year, in their respective sport. Participants came from all backgrounds of sport including soccer, football, rugby, basketball, hockey and lacrosse. 

The purpose of the workshop is to give student-athletes tips on how to make the transition to becoming a successful, well-rounded CIS level student-athlete. The workshop focused on:

  • Identifying good and bad stress
  • Stress management techniques to increase resiliency
  • Healthy coping skills
  • Healthy decision making Disputing negative thinking
  • Time management and organizational skills
  • Accessing resources available to students on campus

The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health intends to run the Student Athlete Resiliency Workshop in the fall for all first year student-athletes at Saint Mary’s University.

Check out the workshop online here

First All-Black Line in Canadian University Hockey Honoured

June 4, 2015

History was made in 1970, when the Saint Mary’s University hockey team became the first team in Canadian university hockey history to have an all-black forward line. Percy Paris, Bob Dawson and Darrell Maxwell did not realize at the time that they had made history. “I recognized that there were three brothers on the ice, but the significance of it wasn’t driven home. My first concern when we were out there, was not having any goals scored against us”, said Percy Paris. 

On Tuesday, June 4th 2015 the Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame in association with CSSH held the Community Awards Ceremony at Saint Mary’s University, to honour these men for their achievement. The event honoured 12 individuals, and celebrated the opening of the Black Loyalist Museum. 

The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health extends another congratulations to Percy Paris, Bob Dawson and Darrell Maxwell for their achievements. 

Read the Chronicle Herald article here
Discover the Black Loyalist Heritage Society here


Robert Dawson (left), Percy Paris, Anne Boucher, Darrell Maxwell

Positive Leadership: Impact on Follower Well-being ‌

June 1, 2015

Heidi Weigand, Director Community Relations and Research is in the process of completing her PhD focusing her dissertation on Positive Leadership. Positive Leadership is the ability of the leader to positively impact follower well-being. Leaders have the ability to greatly impact follower well-being through the use of the “Leader Positivity Ratio” and “Direct and Vicarious Positive Leadership Behaviors”. Leader Positivity Ratio includes: mindfulness, gratitude, and reduction of negative emotions and increase of positive emotions. Direct and Vicarious Positive Leadership Behaviors includes: thanking; helping; praising, complimenting and supporting followers. The impact on follower well-being can be evaluated on the ability to affect positivity ratios, coping skills, innovation skills and burnout levels among followers.

This workshop is intended for leadership audiences motivated to explore and develop their own behaviours with the intent of maximizing the positive impact on their followers.  The workshop consists of two three-hour modules that can be run weekly or in one day with follow up coaching sessions.  Our intended outcome is cultivating behaviours that increase leader and follower positivity ratios, which produce increased innovation and coping skills and reduced burnout in the workplace.

View- Positive Leadership Research Executive Summary 

Click here to learn more. 

Resilient Leadership: Motivation for Success

May 30, 2015

The Centre for the Study of Sport and health has hosted over 70 participants in 6 different Resilient Leadership workshop events. The Centre for the Study of Sport and Health held three Resilient Leadership workshops in May 2014, February 2015 and May 2015 at Saint Mary's University. The workshop attracted a variety of international and domestic students from 1st to 4th year enrolled in Arts, Science, and Commerce disciples. The CSSH hosted two Mi’Kmaq Youth Retreat: Resilient Leadership workshops at NSCC Gitten’s Lodge in June and September 2014. The Youth Retreat participants included members from 12 of 13 Mi’kmaq communities and gained Mi’kmaq Ethics Watch approval.

Partnering Institutions have included:

  • Children’s Mental Health and Addictions Branch
  • Department of Health and Wellness
  • Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq
  • Tripartite Sports and Recreation Committee


Resilient Leadership: Motivation for Success

January 5, 2015

As of September 2014, the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health has held weekly Resiliency Sandbox sessions for students, professors and the general public. The Resiliency Sandbox is led by Heidi Weigand, Dr. Charles Beaupre and Steven Oliver. Each week participants explore resiliency building tools, Tai Chi theory and movements and energy channelling, respectively. The weekly session aims to calm participant’s minds and enjoy the presence of others who share the same passion for Tai Chi and resiliency.

We would like to invite past participants of the Sport Enhancement Workshops, the Student Resiliency Workshops, friends and family to join us for weekly sessions with Steve and Heidi (and guest Dr. Charles Beaupre) to develop your tool kit of meditation techniques and resiliency. You are welcome to bring your friends and family to get a chance to learn about Tai Chi and resiliency.

If you are interested in attending a session or have questions please click here.

Other Past Conferences


Inaugural Transnational Lacrosse Conference

The Inaugural Transnational Lacrosse Conference (TLC) was held by the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health at Saint Mary's University from October 2nd-4th, 2014. We were joined by researchers, practitioners and cultural experts from Canada and around the world to discuss a variety of aspects of this great game. The conference spanned a variety of topics, including: The Aboriginal history and identity of lacrosse, The globalization of the game, Women and the growing world of female lacrosse and Performance enhancement and injury prevention.

Thank you to all the researchers, players, cultural experts, and sponsors who made this conference a success!

For more information on the Trasnational Lacrosse Conference and lacrosse news from around the globe, you can visit our twitter account at:, our website at, and our facebook page by searching Transnational Lacrosse Conference.

North American Society For Sport History

The 41st annual convention of the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH) was held at Saint Mary's University from May 24th-27th, 2013. The convention covered a variety of sport topics, including Olympic policies and politics, women in sport, and sport as activism. Thank you to everyone who made this convention a success!

NASSH 2013 Program: click here  CBC News Coverage: click here

Putting it On Ice III; Constructing the Hockey Family: Home, Community, Bureaucracy and Marketplace

View Hockey Conference 2012 Abstracts‌‌

On July 12 -14, 2012, the international symposium, which took place on the Saint Mary's University campus, was a hugh success. The conference provided a forum to discuss issues relevant to the Hockey family.

The hockey family is constructed in a number of contexts: at home, in the community, and more broadly through the influence of bureaucracies, the media and marketplace. In this interdisciplinary conference we invited submissions from anyone interested in the game of hockey today and over time, its gendered dimensions, its representation in literature, film and popular culture, the personal and community identities and allegiances it generates. The role of the family in the game’s evolution – the special place of hockey Moms and Dads – and the challenges and expectations the hockey family experience were a central concern of the conference. How functional or dysfunctional is the hockey family? How does hockey differ for boys and girls, men and women? The coach as surrogate parent, positive and abusive coaching and parenting, violence on and off the ice, head trauma and other hockey injuries, issues relating to participation in minor and recreational hockey, the selection process for competitive hockey, and questions relating to class, gender, ethnicity and race are especially welcome. On a broader level we are interested in the way in which the sport is organized, whether it be for participatory and/or competitive play, from minor hockey to intercollegiate and professional play, as well as the economic circumstances that affect the game’s development.

Putting it On Ice II; Women's Hockey: Gender Issues On and Off the Ice

View - Women's Hockey: Gender Issues On and Off the Ice - Conference Abstracts

On Mar 26 - 29, 2004, the Conference on Women's Hockey, which took place on the Saint Mary's University campus, was a hugh success. Held in conjunction with the Women's World Hockey Championship taking place here in the city during March, the conference provided a forum to discuss issues relevant to women's hockey while the championship formed a backdrop to showcase some of the incredible talent present in women's hockey today. The Centre for the Study of Sport and Community wish to thank the following for their support for Women's Hockey: Gender Issues On and Off the Ice.