From Saturday, Aug. 6 to Sunday, Aug. 21, the Niagara Region hosted the 2022 Canada Summer Games, a multi-sport event part of the overarching Canada Games. This bi-annual event alternates between summer and winter sports every two years. While this year’s event was scheduled to take place in the summer of 2021, it was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With venues across Grimsby, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Pelham, St. Catharines, Thorold, the GTA, Wainfleet, and Welland — there was no shortage of Canada Games excitement spread across the region throughout the month of August.
St. Catharines was home to six unique venues: Alumni Field, which gave a home to swimming events; the Eleanor Misener Aquatic Centre, to swimming and diving; the Meridian Centre, to basketball and the Opening Ceremony; the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course, to rowing; Twelve Mile Creek, to mountain biking; and the Badgers’ own Brock University, which supported road cycling events.
Brock University hosted a total of 18 events across two weeks for community members to partake in. These events included both paid and free activities; including a 13 for 13 Cultural Festival, events where community members could test their own physical skills, a celebration of Women and Girls in Sport, and even a Rugby Gold Medal match that could be watched live.
Anna Lathrop, a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, writes that Brock’s involvement in the Canada Games is a part of the university’s “Strategic Plan” to build a legacy of academics for the 2022 Games: “Complementing the Games’ physical infrastructure that will benefit Niagara for years to come, the academic legacy will maximize experiential learning opportunities for our students and promote partnerships with our community through curricular, research and community engagement activities.”
“We hosted Rugby Sevens, we hosted swimming, one-metre diving, [cycling events], and then we were the training facilities for basketball, soccer, rugby, and volleyball,” said Ed Wall, a member of the Canada Games Operations Team while reflecting on the vastness of Brock’s role in the Games.
“[During the Games the goal was to] help showcase to all of Canada just what Niagara brings, and also a way to showcase Brock University to athletes all over the country,” said Wall.
According to the official Games website, Niagara’s presence on the stage was stronger than ever: “The Games gave rise to a new legacy of ambition, confidence, and compassion that will inspire generations to come.” Brock University’s involvement in the 2022 Canada Summer Games surely contributed to its success, and attributed to the academic legacy that the Games were attempting to uphold in this year’s event.