Author Meets Readers. From L to R: Jennifer Brenning (Director of Recreation and Athletics, Carleton University), Ed Blomeley (CEO, Blomeley Group of Companies), , Chris Waddell (Associate Professor of Journalism, Carleton University), Karen Schwartz (Associate Dean of Research and International, Faculty of Public Affairs)

Author Meets Readers is a monthly gathering to discuss new books  by FPA faculty at Irene’s Pub.

From Pee-Wees through to the NHL, Journalism Professor Chris Waddell and his fellow panelists discussed and debated the realities of Canadian sports during a recent Author Meets Readers event at Irene’s Pub in the Glebe.

Waddell and his guests discussed his book, How Canadians Communicate V: Sports, which he edited with David Taras of the University of Calgary.

Much of the discussion centered on the challenge of retaining Canadian athletes in Canada. Jennifer Brenning, the Director of Recreation and Athletics at Carleton University, said Canadian universities are competing against much larger, wealthier American programs.

“We can’t compete with the facilities and the coaching staff they offer their athletes,” said Ms. Brenning, who spent 11 years at Canadian Interuniversity Sport, Canada’s equivalent to the NCAA. “But we have a growing number who return to Canada because it wasn’t what they expected. Our approach is to focus on the student, as well as the athlete.”

Professor Waddell agreed, saying, “A lot of athletes get burned out in the U.S. I think Canadian schools are much better at offering them a balanced experience.”

He also argued that Canadian media needs to do a better job of covering Canada’s top teams—such as Carleton’s men’s basketball team, which is the best in the country. “They devote pages to the NCAA’s March Madness and put the Canadian teams on page four.”

Fellow panelist Ed Blomeley offered his opinion as an independent television producer and the CEO of the Blomeley Group of Companies: “If we don’t have winners, no one will care. That’s what the media covers.”

Professor Waddell finished with a thought from well-known Canadian journalist Roy MacGregor, who contributed a chapter to the book and had hoped to attend.

“Roy wrote that he’s distressed by the corporatization of sports and athletes. As a sports journalist, you can barely talk to them now,” said Professor Waddell. “He argues that the focus on statistics and injuries is being driven by sports gambling and fantasy leagues, and that we’re losing something as a result.”

Next month, Author Meets Readers will feature Carleton Professor Emeritus Michael Hart and his book Hubris: The Troubling Science, Economics and Politics of Climate Change. You can register and find more information here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 in , ,
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