Discover Brantford Blog

Sport Networking Meeting Recap

Sport Networking Meeting Recap

Thursday, April 11, 2019

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Sherwood Restaurant, Catering & Banquet Hall

 Thank You

The Sherwood Restaurant was the perfect venue for our first Sport Networking Meeting of 2019. Dennis, Mary and the rest of the staff at the Sherwood prepared an amazing meal for us all and created a spacious, comfortable environment in which we could learn from each other and network as well. 


Nicole Drake, Manager of Tourism, Culture & Sport begun the meeting by discussing a few of the department’s recent council-approved strategic changes. These changes are beneficial to this market, allowing for more of an emphasis to be put on sport. One of the changes implemented was to designate a full-time position to sport. The role of Sport Tourism Coordinator will be fulfilled by Ela Stypa Jones, who has been with the Economic Development & Tourism Department since 2007 and is well-known within the Sport Networking group. Nicole and Kara Davey, who were also present at the meeting, received title changes. Nicole is now the Manager of Tourism, Culture & Sport (previously Tourism & Marketing Manager) which is now better aligned with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport. Kara is now the Tourism Marketing Coordinator (previously Information Coordinator) and is the point of contact for all marketing related inquiries within the department. She provides marketing support to the whole department, including the sports market, so please feel free to contact her for collaboration on sports blogs and e-newsletters. You can reach her at 

Ice Breaker

Ela Stypa Jones was the master of ceremonies for this meeting, and begun with a spring-themed ice-breaker asking attendees to share their name, where they are from, and the thing they are most looking forward to doing in the spring. Despite the cold weather outside, the room was abuzz with warmth and excitement as answers ranged from ‘hanging laundry outside,’ to ‘running and jumping in the lake at my cottage,’ and many other ideas that left us all craving some fresh air.


2021 Ontario 55+ Winter Games – Presented by: Ela Stypa Jones

Ela, who shared the exciting news that the 2021 Ontario 55+ Winter Games is coming to Brantford and the County of Brant, presented the first discussion of the day. Our communities are so excited to have won this bid. The 2017 ParaSport games were very successful games, with the City and County welcoming just over 200 athletes. The 2019 ParaSport games welcomed just over 400 athletes, and the Ministry attributed that to the great success of the Brantford/Brant Games in 2017. The 2017 Games stepped up the level of support and competition in the ParaSport community.  In 2021, our communities will once again be hosts to 10 sports, over 1000+ athletes, 400+ volunteers in 12+ venues. It is estimated that these games will result in $1.5 million in local economic activity, and the Games Organizing Committee is actively recruiting for a few vacant spots in: Fundraising, Volunteer Management, and Food & Beverage. Lots of people from the Sport Networking Meetings were an integral part of the success of the ParaSport games. We will also need lots of volunteers, and more details will be coming soon about that.  The following sports have been proposed for the 2021 games: Alpine Skiing, Badminton, Curling, Duplicate Bridge, Ice Hockey, Nordic Skiing, Prediction Skating, Table Tennis, Ten Pin Bowling, and Volleyball. Since we do not have a ski hill in our communities, we will be sending participants to Boler Mountain in London. The 2021 games will run just prior to Valentine’s Day (February 11-13) and so the hashtag is very fittingly #ourheartisinit.

Marriott TownePlace Suites & Conference Centre – Presented by: Amber Kane

The Hampton Inn & Suites Brantford has been open to the public for just over ten years now. Amber thanked everyone in the room for their support and feedback. They have housed a lot of teams over the years, due in large part because of the tournaments hosted by people in this room. Marriott TownePlace Suites & Conference Centre is the first Marriott in this area, and will open at the end of June. The hotel will have 100 rooms – spacious and apartment style studios and 1 bedroom suites with full kitchens, dining tables, 50” LCD HD TV and free WIFI for guests. Guests will enjoy the convenience of a daily free hot buffet breakfast, outdoor patio area, free parking, indoor salt water pool, fitness centre, and business centre. Bookings are available online for September 2019 forward. Both Marriott and Hampton Inn are currently offering an incentive program, as a thank you to the local sports organization. Both properties would like to offer a $5.00 per guest room support to sport organizations located in the Brantford, County of Brant, and Six Nations of the Grand River communities for any business generated at Hampton Inn & Suites Brantford during the 2019 calendar year. Amber is currently responsible for sales on both properties, so please contact her with questions regarding this incentive program or other inquiries at

SKIP Colour Burst – Presented by Liz Martorano and Amanda Scrimshaw

SKIP (Seniors & Kids Intergenerational Programming) is a registered not-for-profit designed to help combat senior social isolation and has been around for over 14 years now. SKIP sends classrooms into nursing homes for mutually beneficial socializing. Their goal is to be a networking organization that brings everyone together. They educate classrooms on how to prevent some diseases, and show respect to elders. They support and educate on: Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, among others. SKIP Burst Colour Run is the only annual fundraiser for SKIP. It’s a 5 km run held on September 8, 2019 (Grandparents Day). The starting gate will be in the Earl Haig parking lot and it’s an un-timed colour fun run for people of any age, starting at 11:00 a.m. After the race completion, all participants will have access to Earl Haig Family Fun Park to celebrate Grandparent’s Day until 4:00 p.m. SKIP is looking for volunteers to coordinate and provide assistance at water stations and colour stations, coaches for the volleyball courts, batting cages, mini golf, etc. at Earl Haig, and lots of cheerleaders. There were just over 500 people at the event last year, and they are anticipating that it will be even bigger this year. With your registration fee, you will receive: 1 pass to Earl Haig, a t-shirt, bracelet, and sunglasses. If you wish, the Brantford Fire Department will hose you down after the race or you can jump in the Lazy River Ride at Earl Haig! For more information, visit or e-mail 


Keith Curley, Brantford Pickleball Club, reminded attendees that Saturday, April 13 is the Maple Syrup Festival in Paris. Last year, it rained all day so we are hoping for nice weather this year. (UPDATE: We had our nicest spring day yet—the weather was just perfect!) The main street of Paris (Grand River St.) is closed between Mechanic St. and William St. for the festivities. They are trying to set a record for outdoor line dancing this year. The event runs from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with entertainment beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Deana Soloman, Brant & District Football Club – Bisons Football – announced that the Bisons football season starts up in May. This year, they are partnering with the Hamilton Hurricanes and possibly hosting all their games in Brantford because of hosting issues at Tim Hortons Field. So keep an eye out for that; as there will be lots more opportunities to catch a Football game this summer. 

Angela Hanlon, ND at Holistic Healing Arts, mentioned a new program being offered at the centre called ‘Wellness Wednesdays.’ Join them on the third Wednesday of every month in the evening for free lectures. The upcoming lecture on April 17th (6:30 to 7:30 p.m.) is ‘Spring Preparation 101.’ Dr. Hauk, ND shares gentle and effective ways to prepare our bodies for Spring. From allergy prevention and relief to gentle detoxification and cleaning, you will not want to miss this session. For more information, please visit or contact


Thank you again to Dennis, Mary and the rest of the staff at The Sherwood Restaurant for the terrific meal and service. You were exceptional hosts! Thanks also to Dennis for providing two Sherwood gift cards valued at $25 each. The door prize winners this meeting were: Jason La Ronde, Brantford Minor Softball and Keith Curley, Brantford Pickleball Club. Thanks to everyone who came and participated. It was so nice to see you all, after such a long haul in between meetings.

Next Meeting: Thursday, June 13




Sport Networking Meeting , Brantford Sports , Tournament Capital of Ontario , Brantford Tournaments , Ontario 55+ Winter Games




Search Posts

Connect With Us

Blog Categories

Recent Blogs

Blog Archives