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U of M Faculty member bidding to bring conference to Wpg

June 27, 2017 — 

Just over two weeks from now, we’ll find out if Winnipeg will receive the honor of hosting the prestigious World Congress in Sport Psychology in 2021, and one of the U of M’s own faculty members is front and center in the group making the bid.

On July 9, 2017,  Faculty of Kinesiology Assistant Professor Dr Leisha Strachan, along with Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba’s Dr Adrienne Leslie-Toogood and Luisa Alarcon will be in Seville, Spain to make their final pitch to the ISSP managing counsel.

LtoR: Adrienne Toogood, Leisha Strachan, Luisa Alarcon

They’ll have 30 minutes to sell the 20 member panel on the merits of hosting the conference in Winnipeg. It would bring between 700 and 800 participants from around the world to the RBC Convention Centre in late June 2021.

“We’re a small city and many people from around the world have only heard of Toronto or Vancouver in Canada. We basically have to show them Winnipeg truly is a hidden gem,” said Dr Strachan.

Dr Toogood added, “We know what a fantastic city we live in and why this would be a wonderful place to play host. It’s our job to convince the counsel.”

Winnipeg is up against locations in Russia and Taiwan; the winning city will be announced on July 13, 2017.

The conference has only been held in Canada one other time, in Ottawa in 1981. The conference has not been held in North America since then.

The idea to make the pitch was initially Dr Toogood’s; two and a half years ago, she engaged Dr Strachan and Dr Melanie Gregg from the University of Winnipeg, and the bid process began.

Dr Gregg is not able to accompany her co-organizers on the trip, but was an integral part of the team.

The group received 17 letters of support to accompany the bid, including from Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, former Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, Faculty of Kinesiology Dean Doug Brown, Canadian Olympic Committee President Tricia C.M. Smith, Canadian Sport Psychology Association Co-Chair Dr Shaunna Taylor, and Canadian Paralympic Committee President Gaétan Tardif.

If Winnipeg is awarded the conference, planning will start immediately with committee members already secured from both universities. A social media campaign has already been started (Twitter and Facebook) so information will be shared through those platforms to attract people to Winnipeg.

Said Strachan, “With a 1 in 3 chance, we are feeling very positive about the prospect of securing the bid. We will do our absolute best to represent Winnipeg and our universities.”


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