A Hurdle to Success: The Path for Pan-American Legacy

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Details: Join us for a critical discussion, moderated by Dr. Janelle Joseph, on whether sport and education really are level playing fields for marginalized students.


On the brink of Pan Am/Para Pan 2015, we are reminded of the multi-level sports industry and the hope it holds for so many young people – including those marginalized by race or indigeneity. Media representations of professional athletes contribute to this image of elevated stature, celebrity, and enhanced quality of life but is this the true reality in the Canadian context? Where are the opportunities and barriers to access, to compete and to succeed in multi-level sports for racialized and indigenous Canadian young people?


Access & the Culture of Sports at the University of Toronto is the first in a series of panel discussions to take place during 2014 and 2015 in light of the upcoming Pan Am/Parapan Am 2015 Games. Through the panel series, A Hurdle to Success will explore the relationship between race, sports, and post-secondary education.


When: Wed., Jan. 22, 2014 from 6:30 to 9 pm
Where: Debates Room, Hart House
Cost: Free / Refreshments provided

This series is a collaboration between the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office, First Nations House, the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and Hart House.


Moderator / Dr. Janelle Joseph

Janelle Joseph is a Banting Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Her current research represents the first national interdisciplinary study to merge theories of youth studies, Afrocentricity, criminology, education, and physical cultural studies. Dr. Joseph completed her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto, where she documented the centrality of culturally significant sport for older adults. Dr. Joseph has conducted innovative and international research and teaching in Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, the United States, England, and New Zealand/Aotearoa.





Janice Forsyth

Janice Forsyth is the Director of the International Centre for Olympic Studies at The University of Western Ontario, where she is also an Assistant Professor in the School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences. She specializes in Olympic and Canadian sport history, and has a specific interest in Aboriginal people and sport, including investigations into the power relations that shape the types of opportunities for Aboriginal people to participate in sport. Her projects have attracted nearly a half million dollars in research funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, university and government agencies. Outside of academe, Janice frequently provides leadership and direction to government and service organizations, including the Aboriginal Sport Circle, the national body for Aboriginal sport development in Canada, has worked on national sport policies, and provides insight and commentary for media on all Olympic related matters. She is a member of the Fisher River Cree First Nation (Manitoba).



Jason Sealy

Jason holds a Master of Arts Degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Guelph, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Toronto, and a Graduate Diploma in Sport and Event Marketing from George Brown College. Over the past 14 years, Jason has provided leadership in Sport and Recreation Management at Basketball Ontario, Centennial College, Appleby College, Bill Crothers Secondary School and George Brown College. Jason’s research in the area of Trust in Leadership and Team Performance and his service of youth has inspired a push to drive leadership development back into the sport experience.


Jason Sealy enters his second season as assistant coach with the Rams women’s basketball program in 2013-14. Sealy is the Leadership Coach for the team and will focus on developing team skills and individual leadership development. Sealy previously coached with Canada Basketball’s Centre for Performance, Humber College women’s program and in Basketball Ontario’s elite development program. As head coach of the North Toronto Huskies Junior Women’s Elite team (JUEL), Sealy led the squad to the 2012 league championship and a bronze medal in 2011. Sealy is an NCCP Level 3 Certified Coach and teaches Advanced Leadership and Organizational Behaviour at Humber College.


Greg Gary

After a stint as U of T’s linebackers coach in 2008, Greg Gary returned to the Blues sidelines as head coach in 2011 with over 20 years of coaching experience under his belt.


The native of Claremont, California, Greg had been a guiding influence in the Mississauga football league since 1995 and became the head coach of the Warriors rep team in 2005, leading them to an Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL) Junior Varsity championship in 2008. He got his start as the head coach of the Junior Varsity football team at his alma mater, Claremont H.S.


As an athlete, Greg received a scholarship to California State University, Fullerton, where he was the captain of the football team and won an Iron Man award in 1981. He signed as a free agent with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams in 1982 and then headed north a year later, playing four years with the Hamilton Tiger Cats and winning the Grey Cup in 1986.


Mike Auksi

Michael Mahkwa Auksi is an Ojibway-Estonian person who grew up in Toronto. He is a proud Transitional Year Programme graduate (2005) and received his Master of Social Work from Ryerson University in 2013. His MSW saw him write a research paper on the development of young Aboriginal people from the voices of Elders and Traditional People.


Mike spent three seasons with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues (2004-07) and two seasons with the Ryerson University Rams (2007-09). His career highlight was scoring the shootout-winning goal for Ryerson against the Blues at Varsity Arena on February 9, 2008.


Michael is a Gen7 Messenger with Motivate Canada, whose goal is to promote physical health and wellness in Aboriginal communities. Mike is currently living and playing ice hockey in Tallinn, Estonia.



Nathaniel Virgo

Nathaniel was born and raised in Toronto, moving to Pickering in grade 6. He started playing volleyball in grade 9 but did not start training outside of school until the summer after his grade 11 year. Nathaniel graduated high school as an Ontario Scholar with honours, having played soccer for 8 years, dabbling in baseball, and playing 3 years of Division 1 Rep OBA basketball.


Nathaniel is currently in his third year, studying Kiniseology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. This is also his third year as a member of the Varsity Blues Men’s Volleyball program. He hopes to be accepted in to a sports management program, once he’s completed his undergraduate degree, and has aspirations of becoming involved in either professional or amateur sport.

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