Local sports May 27: Sparre resigns; Jays clinic; CEBL final four; Brock searching for AD
The Niagara IceDogs are on the hunt for a new assistant coach.
Assistant coach Kris Sparre has resigned from his position to become the head coach of EC Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Hockey League.
“The OHL (Ontario Hockey League) is a development league for not only players but coaches as well. Kris made great strides in his three seasons as assistant coach here and we wish him nothing but success in the future,” IceDogs head coach Billy Burke said.
Sparre, a 32-year-old native of Mississauga, posted a letter on the IceDogs website, thanking the organization for the opportunity.
“I came to St. Catharines fresh from my playing days not knowing what a coaching life would look like. General manager Joey Burke gave me an opportunity and believed in me from Day 1 and I cannot thank him enough for that. Thanks to Bill and Denise Burke, I was welcomed like family and felt comfortable right from the start. My wife and family were always treated very well and Bill and Denise would always go over and above to make sure they were comfortable at the games. Whether it be the incredible facilities, team events or travel accommodation, when you’re an IceDog, it’s first class all the way.
“I was fortunate enough to work with great coaches and management throughout my three years in Niagara. My past two seasons working under head coach Billy Burke has been a great learning experience for me and I would not have been given this
opportunity to move forward without having learned from him. He’s been a great mentor for me and a major contributor in my development as a coach.”
BLUE JAYS CLINIC
The Toronto Blue Jays will hold an instructional clinic Sunday, June 23 at George Taylor Field from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Registration is done through the Blue Jays at www.bluejays.com/clinics.
The clinics are sponsored by Honda and are taught exclusively by Blue Jays Baseball Academy instructors. They are geared towards players aged 8-12. The cost of the clinic is $55 with a portion donated back to the St. Catharines Minor Baseball Association and used to purchase new equipment.
Participants will receive a Blue Jays hat, T-shirt, and a baseball manual to take home to continue to develop their skills.
The Blue Jays Baseball Academy clinics are inclusive to all abilities, and they are capable of adapting their programming to meet the needs of the children.
New for 2019, registrants will participate in a Baseball Athletic Training station which serves as an introduction to fundamental athletic movement, and a Game Station where participants will play a whiffle ball baseball game. These activities will be in addition to the usual throwing, hitting, running and fielding components.
CEBL CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND
The Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) will conclude in Saskatoon, Aug. 25 in a championship weekend festival and finals format.
Over four days, the Province of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon will host a league gala dinner and awards, three-day family friendly street festival, tailgate parties, and a major concert.
On the court, the four teams will compete in semifinals at SaskTel Centre.
Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster beginning June 12 at http://www.ticketmaster.ca. Download the Ticketmaster app for the widest selection of verified tickets.
For more information, check out http://www.cebl.ca
BROCK SEARCHING FOR NEW AD
Following the retirement of Neil Lumsden earlier this year, Brock University is looking to hire its next Director of Brock Sports this off-season.
“It is an energizing time to be at Brock University and in the Niagara region,” said Brock University President Gervan Fearon. “In addition to Brock’s excellence in teaching and research, Brock Sports is an important part of the university experience and community engagement focus.”
The new director will oversee the dynamic departments of Brock Sports including Brock Sports Athletics, Brock Sports Performance and Brock Sports Medicine.
As one of the largest programs in U SPORTS, the total number of Brock Badgers student-athletes has increased 15 per cent in the last five years. Supporting 46 teams and more than 900 athletes, driving an engaged student experience is core to the new leader’s role.
“There’s a winning tradition at Brock to be upheld,” said Brian Hutchings, vice-president, administration. “The best directors don’t dwell on the nuts and bolts such as equipment or scheduling, but rather the factors that lead to a strong culture and a positive student-athlete experience.”
The University surrounds its athletes with top-notch facilities. It maintains a competitive edge with Brock Sports Performance (BSP), a next-gen training department that works with elite teams and up-and-coming Niagara athletes, as well as national and pro athletes from across Canada.
“Our high performance team in BSP is just hitting their stride,” Hutchings said. “There are great opportunities that lie ahead in terms of growth with our partners and the surrounding communities.”
Growth and engagement is also the goal for the newly branded Brock Sports Medicine Clinic, a multi-disciplinary team that offers a wide range of medical experts and technology to treat injuries, enhance recovery and return athletes safely back to sport.