Excellence in Sport Panel
Listen, learn, and reflect on the experiences of underrepresented individuals in sport contexts. The panelists include exceptional contributors to sport performance, coaching, research, and teaching. This session will take place on March 25th at 4:30pm. There will be a Q&A in the latter portion of the session.
This event is included in your ECSEPS registration. We encourage you to learn about our panelists below.
Meet the Panelists
Head Coach of the University of Windsor Men's Basketball Team
Chris Cheng is the head coach of the Lancer men's basketball team, and just the sixth coach in Windsor's program history. Prior to joining the Lancers, Cheng served as the first-ever head coach of men’s basketball at Nipissing University in North Bay where he was their coach for five seasons. Cheng is a current Assistant Coach with our Junior Men's National Team. Cheng is a graduate from York University where he earned a Sociology Degree and an Education Degree. He is also a graduate of Humber College where he completed both his Early Childhood Education and Recreation and Leisure Services diploma. He was awarded the provincial Jill Logan Teaching Award, the Sport Alliance Award and was the recipient of the Humber College Board of Governors Award during his time there. Cheng is also currently completing his Masters of Kinesiology in Sport Management at the University of Windsor.
Diverse representation in sport is important to Cheng because it enhances participation and provides role-modeling.
Dr. Leisha Strachan
Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Kinesiology & Recreation Management at University of Manitoba
Dr. Leisha Strachan is a first-generation Black Canadian, proud daughter of Jerome and Margaret Strachan who immigrated to Winnipeg 53 years ago from the Caribbean island of Grenada. She is blessed to stand on the shoulders of elders in her family and in the Black community who came to Winnipeg facing discrimination and racism yet remained for the opportunities that they foresaw for their children.
Dr. Strachan began her career as a physical educator after completing a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba. She completed a Master of Human Kinetics at the University of Windsor and a PhD in Sport Psychology at Queen’s University. Currently, Dr. Strachan is a Professor and serving as Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management at the University of Manitoba. Her research is focused on positive youth development through sport, and she is interested in exploring positive coaching behaviors and parent involvement. She is currently working on a SSHRC/Sport Canada research project evaluating Project SCORE. In addition, she is part of a research team exploring anti-racism policies and practices in Winnipeg and the sport experiences of newcomers in the community.
As for why diversity is important, I would say (in short) that representation doesn't only matter but that it is key for BIPOC communities. In any sector, it is important for people to see themselves represented and for leaders to emerge and to be role models for their communities. Also, systemic racism is a barrier to advancement for BIPOC people and so dismantling these structures is important in encouraging diversity.
Dr. Ashley Duguay
Mental Performance Consultant for Team First Consulting, Adjunct Instructor for Virginia Commonwealth University
Dr. Ashley Duguay is a Mental Performance Consultant (MPC) and Professional Member of the Canadian Sport Psychology Association. As an MPC, she seeks to facilitate the development of skills, attitudes, qualities, processes, and perspectives that enhance her clients’ (e.g., athletes, coaches, sports teams/organizations) mental performance while helping them achieve positive personal development and performance enhancement. Dr. Duguay is also an adjunct instructor with the Center for Sport Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University where she teaches Sport Psychology and Team Dynamics in Sport for their Master of Sport Leadership distance education program. Dr. Duguay holds a PhD in Kinesiology (Sport and Exercise Psychology) from the University of Windsor and has also earned a Master of Human Kinetics (Sport and Exercise Psychology) from the University of Windsor and a Master of Education (Sport Leadership) from the Center for Sport Leadership at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Being intentional about efforts to celebrate and encourage diversity in sport will help us move towards safer and more inclusive sport systems where all individuals feel that they belong, are valued, have a voice, and are able to wholeheartedly, without unfair obstacles, pursue their aspirations in sport.
Owner of Limitless Training
In 2009, Paul McCrary sustained a catastrophic C5/6 Spinal Cord Injury at 17 years old, while playing High School football in Windsor. Initially, he was told by all doctors that he would never leave a wheelchair again. Paul refused to accept this prognosis and he knew he would prove the doctors wrong. Paul made steady strides along the way, always grinding towards the next goal. In 2014, after 5 years of living in & using a wheelchair to go anywhere, Paul was able to stop using it forever. He worked with the top rehab programs, therapists and trainers in Canada and the best in Michigan, too. He has since been able to get around on crutches, is able to work for a living, and is driving again. Paul opened Limitless in 2017, after leaving the University of Windsor's Human Kinetics/Movement Science program, where he was both studying and working as a Strength Coach for the football team, while also training private clients at their Fitness Centre.
Recruiting Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach at the University of Windsor Football Team
Coach Randy Beardy is the Recruiting Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach at the University of Windsor. For education, he graduated from the University of Windsor with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and afterwards became a certified strength & conditioning specialist.
As an indigenous man, diverse representation in sport is important because of the culture of understanding it cultivates. Removed are the concepts born from ignorance because of the relationships that are fostered through mutual understanding. Go Lancers!
Dr. Jenny O
Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Student Research at California State University - East Bay
Dr. Jenny O (she/her) is an Associate Professor at Cal State East Bay in Hayward, CA USA. She completed her H.B.P.H.E. at Laurentian University (Sudbury, ON Canada), her M.H.K. at the University of Windsor under the supervision of Dr. Krista (Munroe) Chandler (Windsor, ON Canada), and her Ph.D. at The University of Western Ontario under the supervision of Dr. Craig Hall (London, ON Canada). Dr. O’s research is centered upon two core areas: 1) Examining mental imagery in the context of sport learning and performance, and, 2) Examining the efficacy of different cognitive-behavioral approaches to enhance adult learning, performance, and experience. Dr. O is the current Director of Cal State East Bay's Center for Student Research, overseeing several research-engagement-based student development programs focused on helping students develop academic, personal, and professional skills in preparation for graduate school and the professional world.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion serve as the cornerstone of her Center’s programming. As a former competitive athlete and coach, and current mental performance coach, Dr. O has observed many elitist and exclusionary practices among athletes, coaches, teams, and sport organizations. Such practices often lead to negative sport experiences, self-perceptions, and oftentimes, drop out from sport. Dr. O is committed to contributing to the reimagination of competitive sport, as an inclusive, rather than exclusive activity.