The opening ceremony for the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games took place on July 16 and marked another milestone for the celebration of Indigenous culture and heritage in North America. The opening parade was held at the Aviva Centre at York University in Toronto and featured Indigenous athletes from the various regions of Turtle Island.
Turtle Island is a reference to North America, based on an Indigenous story of creation. The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is the largest gathering of Indigenous people in North America for the purpose of sports and cultural activities.
There are 14 core sports that will be featured during the games and they include: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Canoe, Golf , Lacrosse, Rifle Shooting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Wrestling, and Volleyball. There will be 13 participating teams from all the provinces of Canada as well as 13 teams from the United States. The games offer an opportunity for Indigenous youth to showcase their athletic abilities in a series of competitions.
Youth aged 13-19 are eligible to take part in the games. There are expected to be over 5000 participants and over 2000 volunteers for the games. The activities will take place in Toronto and various locations within the GTA, and Six Nations of the Grand River. The games were founded in the early 1970s, but this is the first time in over 25 years that the games will be held in the Eastern Region of Canada.
Lacrosse is one of the 14 sports categories and holds special significance to Indigenous peoples. The game of lacrosse is a traditional game in Indigenous culture. It is often referred to as “The Medicine Game” and it was believed to be a game gifted to the Indigenous peoples by the creator to encourage fun and active movements and the healing of people. The game is often played by the men in Indigenous culture and was used to train warriors and settle tribal disputes. However, the 2017 NAIG will proudly feature the women’s debut of box lacrosse with teams from six provinces in Canada.
The games will also host various cultural events to celebrate Indigenous heritage at York and McMaster University. The cultural festival is a week long celebration ending this weekend and the festival features Indigenous cuisine, craft, and nightly entertainment. All cultural events are free and open to the public. The festival is also a chance to showcase the award winning talents of Indigenous performers.
The games support Indigenous unity and is a chance to strengthen Indigenous bonds throughout the region. The games run from July 16-23 and will be broadcast via live stream on cbc.ca/sports and the events are free to attend and open to the public. For more information visit NAIG2017.
Algerian Runner Abdellatif Baka won the 1500 metre race at the Paralympics in Rio, winning at 3:38:29 and beating out the 1500 metre Olympic world record. By all means, the world should be buzzing over the accomplishment and instead the response has been…underwhelming.
It is well known that the Paralympics get less attention than the Olympics, but it is disappointing that even in a modern age of near-obsessive global media attention that people are not paying attention to this event. Baka competed in the 1500m T13 race, which is ranked as the highest visually-impaired race in the running category, though the competitors are still considered legally blind. The T12 and T11 races are made for competitors that are further visually-impaired and this standard applies to other sports in the Paralympics as well.
Baka’s success in the 1500m dash demonstrates that sight is not a necessity for speed. Each of the competitors are able to tell where the other runners are while competing at top speed. It takes a phenomenal sense of control and awareness, reminding me of the powerful superhero Daredevil. This comic book character develops other ways to make up for his loss of sight, which actually makes him a stronger human in a lot of ways. It appears that Baka setting a gold record above and beyond Olympic athletes shows there are many ways to be a top competitive athlete.
The Paralympics are the second largest sports event in the world after the Olympics, but is given much less attention by the media. When trying to watch scheduled events, the Paralympics website kept crashing and limited information of the gathering was available. In comparison, there is a plethora of materials available for the Olympics. Admittedly, the Paralympics was developed many years after the Olympics, but has still been in existence since 1960. The Games showcase athletes of similar speed, strength, and skill — yet, no one is live-streaming the Paralympics at work. Why not?
Originally the Paralympics was founded by an English doctor named Dr. Ludwig Guttmann. He created the 1948 International Wheelchair Games when the Olympics were being held in London that same year. His goal was to develop sports therapy for soldiers that were injured during World War II. The first Paralympics was held in Italy 12 years later and has continued since. It has five classifications of athletes including people with visual impairment, physical disabilities, amputee athletes, people who have cerebral palsy and spinal cord issues and Les Autres for people with other physical disabilities that aren’t listed.
The Paralympic games have grown into a diverse event featuring several sports. The athletes are top caliber and train to dominate in their competition. If you haven’t checked out the “Paratough” website — whose catch phrase asks “are you tough enough to keep up with Canada’s Paralympic team?” — you would see how hard these athletes work to compete in these Games. I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up! It is truly incredible to see these athletes in action and watch people overcome difficulty through the true mastery of their bodies.
The Paralympics are almost over, so tune in before it’s too late and cheer on our Canadian athletes.
“I have trouble looking at you while I’m saying these things.”
This is the point the #MoreThanMean campaign is trying to make: that what people say online has a real impact on real people. What’s more —those messages can also be considered as harassment.
A video created by podcast Just Not Sports (@JustNotSports) circulated the Internet last week that aptly proves this point. It features sport writer, columnist/broadcaster Julie DiCaro and Sports on Earth’s NFL writer Andrea Hangst, who have found themselves the target of some truly terrible messages on social media.
But, they are just “mean”, right? As proven by comedian Jimmy Kimmel, reading mean tweets can be funny. So, these women did just that. Except, instead of reading the messages themselves, they had men read these “mean” tweets to their faces. This was the result:
The video itself is cringe-worthy. The men seemed increasingly uncomfortable with the level of hatred and sexual violence exhibited in these anonymous tweets — with good reason.
“One of the players should beat you to death with a hockey stick like the whore you are. Cunt.
“This is why we don’t hire any females unless we need our c*** sucked or our food cooked.”
“Hopefully this skank Julie DiCaro is Bill Crosby’s next victim. That would be classic”
And those weren’t even some of the worst ones. The men were apologetic as the tweets went from “mean” to violent. Many of them pleaded with the director to skip a few of the statements. They couldn’t look the women in the eye.
DiCaro and Hangst were prepared for these messages. They had already seen the tweets before the video was taken, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt.
A lot of the people watching this video completely misunderstood the point it was trying to make. Probably half of the comments attached to the Youtube page called it a feminist ploy. Some people thought it devalued the criticism and hate messages male sport reporters received on a daily basis. Others claimed the comments weren’t actually considered harassment —they were just mean statements and these women should get a backbone.
Here are some of the most recent comments as of Monday afternoon (spelling mistakes included):
LurkerDood: What’s with these pussy ass guys?! What’s so hard reading mean tweets?
opinionated hater: some of these are hilarious
Polarhero57: And bullshit that dudes don’t get any of this. It’s not harassment, it’s the fucking internet. This is completely staged.
Ali Bakhshi: If your biggest problem right now is people saying you should be raped on the internet then you seriously need to realise how privileged you are.
Micheal Bay: This is just another stupid feminist thing, these women are exposing themselves, in reality they’re sluts!
nalyd321: to be honest none of these were really that bad
quezcatol: it is also ironic how a fatso, like that big red haired women – can write about sport, that hippo shouldnt tell real athelte what they need to work on. she hasnt done shit in her life herself.
There is a childish undertone to the word mean. “So-and-so was mean to me”, kids will say. That so-and-so will then be told to sit in a corner and think about what he/she had done. The people sending these messages are, most likely, adults who have nothing better than to say incredibly sexist, discriminatory, and purely callous things because they know they can get away with it. Blocking or ignoring these people is the equivalent to asking them to sit in a corner. It does nothing and they are free tocome back online to harass others. These are childish penalties for adult crimes.
Harassment is defined as aggressive pressure or intimidation. It can involve unwanted physical or verbal behaviour that offends and humiliates. Making obscene sexual remarks is considered also sexual harassment. There is no specification that it has to be done face-to-face, and that is the point of the #MoreThanMean campaign.
In this case, these tweets were more than mean. They were violent, inappropriate, and deserve to be blocked and reported by social media networks. They were harassment.
I used to be a Sports Editor at my student paper — the first woman in four years to hold the position. I can say with personal experience that my gender made a difference. Coaches didn’t take me as seriously and neither did the players. At my first hockey game, the player I was interviewing said I should enter the changing room to speak to his teammates. Not knowing any better, I did. I immediately knew that he was messing with me when I saw all the players in jock straps, but I decided to just walk up to the one player I needed to talk to, ignore his smirking, get my answer, and then calmly (but swiftly) get out of there.
And this was all before the prevalence of Internet trolls.
I’m lucky this incident was a one-time thing, but it definitely opened my eyes up to the gender barriers women face in the sports world. With the prevalence of social media, female reporters and broadcasters have opened themselves up to all sorts of attacks — just because they are women in an industry dominated by men. This is absolutely unacceptable. Most of the women in the sports industry are talented, knowledgeable, and capable. They should not have to feel like they need to defend themselves.
There shouldn’t be a need for a viral video and a trending hashtag to bring attention to the blatant sexism these women are facing in this industry. It’s time for society, and social media, to step up. Share this video and spread the message.
Don’t be #MoreThanMean.
Be #MoreThanGrateful that you don’t have to read these tweets every day.
Running a race is you versus the ones beside you and may the best runner win. But when you add food, draw prizes and live entertainment, you’re left with unique events for people to choose from – each one offering a different ambiance, yet still a race from start to finish.
Now picture an event with all competitors dressed in white t-shirts while waiting for the starting gun. The runners/walkers then take off and through each kilometre they’re showered with colour powder made with food grade cornstarch, 100% natural and safe. It’s new, sounds like loads of fun, is coming to Montreal on August 17 and is called The Color Run 5 km.
Some runners will wear bandanas or dust masks because of the powder, thrown by volunteer colour throwers, sponsors and Color Run staff who aim low as much as possible when you pass by. The idea is to get your t-shirt as colourful as possible by race end. At the finish, the crowd will do a colour throw every 15 minutes to welcome new runners coming in.
The first official Color Run was held in Tempe, AZ in January 2012. Since last year, the event debuted in 50 U.S. cities and three international cities, with close to 600,000 participants in total.
The mastermind behind the Color Run is 34-year-old Travis Snyder. In a recent email interview, he says, “Seeing how happy the Color Run has made all different kinds of people has been very rewarding. It really is an event for all fitness levels, ages and backgrounds. Our tag line is ‘The happiest 5k on the planet’ for a reason. That line was created after seeing how happy it made people.” You might say it puts the fun into a fun run.
Snyder, a former triathlete and avid runner, began creating his own running events 10 years ago. In an effort to create a non-threatening running environment where professional and novice runners could come together and enjoy the purity of the sport, the Color Run was born. “I wanted to create an event that would encourage people to get out and run just for the fun of it. I wanted people to enjoy the community experience of running together, and I wanted to add something a little out of the ordinary to the race; something that could serve as a sort of visual reward for all the hard work these runners put into training for the event,” he says.
You can run the event solo or enter as a team. All you need is a white shirt, and be ready to have some fun running and getting splashed with colour.
If you made a commitment to start a running program, lose weight and keep the pounds off permanently, you deserve a pat on the back. Running five or 10 kilometres is an attainable goal for many.
A friend related her story of how she looked in the mirror one morning and almost began to panic. A decade ago she’d been fairly athletic but was now 50 pounds overweight and, worse, she smoked a pack of cigarettes per day. On this fateful spring day she chose the Stanley Park seawall route in Vancouver, planning to run slowly for 15 minutes, turning back in the same time. Her goal was to run 30 minutes every day.
She didn’t cover much ground but kept moving the whole time even when her body was begging to stop. She eventually developed shin splints, forcing her onto the bike for six weeks, but soon was back running, improving ever so slowly. A year later she was a non-smoker, 50 pounds lighter and racing every distance from 10km to the marathon. She still claims that first run on the seawall was the hardest workout ever. Following a proper program might have eased a lot of her pain and perhaps prevented training injuries too.
It’s suggested that once you’re able to run 5k distance, continuing on to running 10k is well within reach. Always check with your doctor before embarking on any exercise program.
In a phone chat with Jacques Chapdelaine, offensive coordinator of the 2011 Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions, he recommends drinking plenty of water during workouts. “The biggest thing for me is hydration at my size (over 190lbs),” Chapdelaine, who carries a water belt with him and drinks every 15 minutes, says. “This has helped me not feel so tired and want to continue running.” He adds, “I run three to four times per week – 40 minutes at a time.” His longer run is 90 minutes.
Here are some other helpful tips to make your running journey less painful.
Visit a running specialty store before choosing the right shoe. Bring in your old pair to check the wear pattern.
Avoid wearing cotton. Choose synthetic fabrics, such as CoolMax or Dri-Fit that wick away moisture.
Invest in an athletic watch to time your workouts.
Record your workouts in a log book to track your improvement.
Proper Fuel and hydration – consult the Canadian Food Guide or speak with a registered dietician.
Do all of the proper stretches after your workout, holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Remember, no matter how tough it gets out there, if you stay with the program you’ll be amazed at the results.