Impact Research Committee
Meet the Members of Canadian Women & Sport’s Impact Research Committee

Canadian Women & Sport is pleased to announce the seven researchers who will be part of our new Impact Research Committee.

The Impact Research Committee will guide our organization in creating and supporting a diverse, multidisciplinary, and relevant research agenda related to our vision and mission. This committee will help inform the organization’s insight, knowledge mobilization efforts, and other research deliverables including advising and providing ongoing support to the organization as subject matter experts on participation and leadership of women and girls in sport. 

The Impact Research Committee will be co-chaired by Dr. Cathi Sabiston, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity and Mental Health Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education at University of Toronto, and Dr. Cheri Bradish, Ted Rogers Director of Sport Business at the School of Management and founder of the Future of Sport Lab at Ryerson University. 

The members of the committee are: 

  • Dr. Cathi Sabiston
  • Dr. Cheri Bradish
  • Dr. Alison Doherty; Professor, Sport Management, School of Kinesiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Western University
  • Dr. Janelle Joseph; Assistant Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education University of Toronto 
  • Dr. Cathy Van Ingen; Professor at Brock University in the Department of Kinesiology
  • Dr. Norm O’Reilly; Director, International Institute for Sport Business & Leadership at University of Guelph
  • Dr. Tara McHugh; Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta
  • Tanya Mruck, Board Representative from Canadian Women & Sport
  • Leanne Nicolle, Board Representative from Canadian Women & Sport

Canadian Women & Sport and our Impact Research Committee look forward to collaborating with Sport Canada’s Gender Equity in Sport Research Hub to advance gender equity in the sport system, as part of a network that will benefit sport organizations, practitioners, and researchers across the country.

Read the Committee Member Bios

Alison Doherty is a Professor of Sport Management at Western University. Her research focuses on the capacity and management of nonprofit and community-based organizations for safe and inclusive sport and physical activity. She is a long-time advocate and investigator of girls’ and women’s sport participation, as players, coaches, volunteers and leaders. Her research portfolio focuses on sport volunteerism, nonprofit sport governance, and organizational capacity and innovation, and is supported by over $1M in peer-reviewed funding. Her insights from an extensive network of collaborators around the world will enrich CAAWS’ research agenda. Alison has consulted and shared her research with local, provincial, and national sport organizations, focusing on the key elements of her findings and implications for effective practice. She is the Lead of the Sport and Social Impact Research Group (SSIRG) at Western, a board member of Canada’s Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC), former Canadian Champion and National Team heptathlete, and a long time track and field coach with Western. She is dedicated to mentoring apprentice coaches through the Coaching Association of Ontario’s Change the Game program.

Janelle Joseph

Janelle Joseph is an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. As an internationally recognized and award-winning scholar, Dr. Joseph is committed to disseminating knowledge about learning, race, and physical cultures. She has published dozens of articles and chapters in sociology (of sport) journals and books, and has co-edited or authored three books. Her most recent text represents the first book-length examination of Black and Caribbean diasporas in sport studies: Sport and the Black Atlantic: Cricket, Canada and the Caribbean Diaspora. Her current project focuses on women’s learning and leadership in Black martial art, dance, and fitness settings in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. 

Cathy van Ingen

Cathy van Ingen is a Professor at Brock University in the Department of Kinesiology. Dr. van Ingen’s research focuses on gender-based violence, sport for development and peace,  and the relationship between sport, inequality, and social change. She is one of the founders of Shape Your Life (SYL), a free, non-contact boxing program for female and trans survivors of violence in Toronto. The SYL project has been running for over 13 years and has worked with over 2000 participants []. She is also the founder of Shape Your Life Youth, and works with youth agencies, to bring non-contact, trauma-informed boxing programs to youth in Edmonton and Niagara. Her academic and activist work is informed by cultural studies, feminist, and critical race studies.  

Norm O'Reilly

Norm O’Reilly is recognized as one of the leading scholars in the business of sports. He is currently Professor of sport management at the University of Guelph and from 2014 to 2018 was the Richard P. and Joan S. Fox Professor of Business and Chair of the Department of Sports Administration at Ohio University’s College of Business. Prior to Ohio, Dr. O’Reilly has taught at many universities around the world, including Laurentian, Ryerson, Ottawa, Stanford, and Syracuse.  has authored or co-authored ten books, and more than 125 peer reviewed journal articles. Dr. O’Reilly is the lead researcher on the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, currently in its fourteenth edition. In 2015, Dr. O’Reilly was awarded the Career Achievement Award by the American Marketing Association’s Sport Marketing Special Interest Group. For more than a decade, he has been minority owner and partner consultant Toronto-based agency, T1, where he has worked for clients including Nike, UFC, Nissan, Canadian Paralympic Committee and Canadian Olympic Committee. 

Tara McHugh

Tara-Leigh McHugh is a Professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta. Her program of research is focused on enhancing the sport, physical activity, and body image experiences of youth. Through qualitative and collaborative research approaches she seeks to understand the psychosocial aspects of such experiences. Tara-Leigh has a passion and strong commitment to working with women and girls, particularly in sport and body image focused research. As well, she has extensive experience working with Indigenous youth. Her commitment to community-based approaches and the sustained engagement of local Indigenous experts has supported the success of her nationally funded program of research. Tara-Leigh’s passion for sport research and practice was fueled by her fifteen year involvement as an athlete and coach in sprint kayaking and canoeing. Now, as a mother to three children who all compete in alpine skiing, she has a renewed commitment to supporting the sustained involvement of all youth in fun, safe, and equitable sport opportunities. She is a strong proponent of the need to move research into practice, and ensuring that sport programs and policies are research-informed.   

Cathi Sabiston

Dr. Catherine Sabiston is a professor of exercise and health psychology in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. She also holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in physical activity and mental health and is the Director of the Mental Health and Physical Activity Research Centre at the University of Toronto. Catherine is also the current President of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. Catherine has received many research and career awards, has held over $20 Million in funding for her research, and has nearly 250 published book chapters and journal articles. She has given over 450 presentations and nearly 100 community and public health talks and workshops. Dr. Sabiston’s leading research is focused on improving the sport experience for females across the lifespan, with a particular interest in body image factors including self-conscious emotions, perceptions of competence, and weight commentary. 

Cheri Bradish

Dr. Cheri L. Bradish is an industry leader and pioneer in sport business innovation, having established the first North American industry-facing sport tech program – The Next Big Idea in Sport – in 2015 at Ryerson University in partnership with Rogers Communications.  She currently is the Founder and Managing Director of the Future of Sport Lab (FSL) a sport innovation lab and sport tech incubator supported by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE). She is also the Ted Rogers Director of Sport Business at the School of Management at Ryerson (TRSM) which she joined in 2013 as the Loretta Rogers Research Chair in Sport Marketing.  Bradish has considerable consulting and work experience with a number of leading sport organizations, including the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC)/Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee (VANOC), Nike Canada and the Vancouver Grizzlies (NBA) as well as has participated and published in premier sport business conferences and outlets throughout North America and globally.  She is a proud alumna of Florida State University and the University of Guelph – where she was a member of the Gryphons Varsity Volleyball team (Ryerson Communications, 2020).