Faculty shares research in South Carolina

Dr. Brenda Bruner and Dr. Barbi Law escaped the cold this past week as they attended the Active Living Research Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. 

Presentations included: 

  • Exploring daily physical activity (DPA) policy compliance among elementary school students in Northeastern Ontario (Law, B., and Bruner, B.)
  • Examining the effectiveness of a professional development conference to increase knowledge and skills to promote physical literacy among children (Bruner, B., and Law, B.)

Dr. Law recognized with Research Achievement Award

Recognized for meritorious research achievement, PPAHP faculty member Dr. Barbi Law was recently awarded a Nipissing University Research Achievement Award, which will take effect in the 2019/2020 academic year.

As a principal investigator on both SSHRC and internally funded research projects, co-principal investigator on a CIHR funded project, and collaborator on several additional research projects, Dr. Law is extremely deserving of this award. 

Congratulations Dr. Law!! 

Welcome Dr. Lindsay Duncan

Dr. Lindsay Duncan, from McGill University, will be visiting Nipissing University on November 29th, 2018 as part of a special speaker series. 

Lindsay’s talk will focus on her recent studies exploring doping among adolescent athletes and doping prevention initiatives for this population. 

Please join us on Thursday November 29th, 2018 in the RSAC boardroom (Room 203) from 12:30 – 2:30 pm. Refreshments will be provided and all are welcome! 

Canada’s First “State of the Nation” Report on Children’s Physical Literacy

Results from Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy findings on more than 10,000 children

North Bay, ON, October 2, 2018 – The results from a large national research project led by the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the CHEO Research Institute shows that about two-thirds of Canadian children haven’t achieved an acceptable level of physical literacy.

Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take responsibility for engagement in physical activities for life. Physically literate children are fit, active and healthy children, which sets them up for life. Dr. Barbi Law and Dr. Brenda Bruner here at Nipissing University were part of the cross-Canada study team that has released the first “State of the Nation” report on physical literacy in children in this country.

Dr. Law and Dr. Bruner are the authors of Associations between teacher training and measures of physical literacy among Canadian 8- to 12-year old students, one of the fourteen articles that looked at different aspects of physical literacy and the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL). This article was part of a special supplement in the journal BMC Public Health (LINK to http://bit.ly/BMCCAPL).  

More than 10,000 children, aged 8 to 12, from 11 cities across the country participated in the study from 2014 to 2017. Using the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL), children were assessed on a number of different areas, such as step counts and questions about daily activities.

“In our paper we are seeking to gain a better understanding of teachers’ role in the development of physical literacy, both generalist teachers and those who have specialized in physical education.  If we as a country truly value health and physical literacy, we need to continue to monitor how our children are progressing, as we do with other forms of literacy which are assessed through standard measures, such as the EQAO tests in Ontario,” said Dr. Law.  “More research is needed to determine how to better support all teachers in promoting the development of physical literacy, which includes movement skills, but also the motivation and confidence to participate in physical activities.”

Some highlights from Dr. Law and Dr. Bruner’s paper include:

  • While the effects were small, children taught by PE specialists were more likely than those taught by generalists to attain recommended levels of motivation and confidence.
  • While the effects were small, children taught by PE specialists were more likely than those taught by generalists to have better movement skills.
  • Teacher training is only one of many factors that may contribute to a teacher’s influence on their students’ physical literacy.

The CAPL Tool can be used by coaches, educators, public health professionals and parents to increase physical literacy in children. The tool is a short, easy-to-administer series of tests that can be used to assess and monitor physical literacy. The materials are available in both English and French, free of charge at www.capl-eclp.ca.

This research study was made possible in part with support from the RBC Learn to Play Project, an initiative funded by RBC and the Public Health Agency of Canada and delivered in partnership with ParticipACTION, with additional support from Mitacs.


Thank you Dr. Vella


Dr. Stewart Vella presented in the Nipissing Theatre Monday evening on youth sport and mental health. His talk discussed some of the psychological benefits of sport on youth as well as his research project: Ahead of the Game. 

Nipissing University, along with Sport North Bay, would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Vella for visiting and speaking in North Bay. 

World-renowned sport psychologist coming to Nipissing

Dr. Stewart Vella specializes in the relationship between participation in sport and youth mental health. He will be at Nipissing University Monday June 18th, 2018 for a special presentation. Admission is free and all are welcome.


One of the world’s leading sport psychologists, specializing in the relationship between youth mental health and participation in sport, is coming to North Bay.

Dr. Stewart Vella will be speaking at Nipissing University on Monday, June 18, from 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the Nipissing Theatre.

As a Senior Research Fellow in the Early Start Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, Australia, Dr. Vella has linked childhood and adolescent sport participation with enhanced emotional and social functioning, a higher quality of life, increased physical activity, and protection against mental health issues. He currently leads research collaborations with the Australian Sports Commission, Cricket Australia, the Australian Football League, Football Federation Australia, Basketball Australia, Swimming Australia, Tennis Australia, the Black Dog Institute and the Australian Drug Foundation.
A proud Movember Foundation Men’s Health Partner, Dr. Vella is the chief investigator for the Ahead of the Game program, a comprehensive and effective program to improve adolescent male mental health through sport. The Ahead of the Game program aims to prevent or reduce the impact of mental health problems and increase wellbeing among adolescent males who participate in organized sports. By working with local community sporting clubs, Ahead of the Game targets adolescents, their coaches and parents in a comprehensive approach to community-based mental health promotion. 
With over $2 million in competitive grant funding, Dr. Vella is also a National Heart Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow, a member of the Active Healthy Kids Australia expert panel and a member of the Australian Sport and Health Policy Working Group. He is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, and a member of the review panel of the International Sport Coaching Journal.
This event is free of charge and all are welcome. Dr. Vella’s presentation is organized by Nipissing University, Sport North Bay, and the Groups for Youth Development (G4YD) Laboratory; and sponsored by Nipissing University’s Schulich School of Education and Skater’s North Source for Sports.
If you have any questions about the event please contact Sport North Bay at info@sportnorthbay.ca, www.sportnorthbay.ca, or visit www.facebook.com/SportNorthBay/.

NORTH PA Faculty Among NU Researchers Earning $1.3 Million in Grants

Researchers at Nipissing University have earned $1,352,011 in multiple grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Among the researchers were Psychology of Physical Activity and Health Promotion lab faculty Dr. Barbi Law and Dr. Brenda Bruner.

Dr. Barbi Law received $186,387 over four years for her project, What is a picture worth? Exploring children’s modeling use in sport. Dr. Law, along with Dr. Brenda Bruner, earned $504,900 over four years for their project, Opportunities for Moving More and Sitting Less: Exploring a Whole School Approach to Improve Children’s 24-Hour Movement Patterns. Dr. Bruner also received $149,858 for one year with Patty Chabbert, Business and Indigenous Relations Manager at Canadore College, and Mary Wabano, Director of the First People’s Centre and Dean of the School of Indigenous Studies at Canadore College, for their project titled Cultural Continuity and Physical Health: Creating a Model of Resiliency Among Indigenous Post-Secondary Students and Their Families.

Other researchers earning grant funding include Dr. Katrina Srigley, Dr. David Zarifa, Dr. Kirsten Greer and Dr. Cindy Peltier.

“My colleagues and I offer sincere gratitude to the Federal government, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for this investment in our research,” said Dr. Katrina Srigley, Associate Professor of History. “These types of investments allow us to explore ideas and create knowledge that strengthens relationships across this country. We also offer thanks on behalf of our students, who benefit directly through their experiences as undergraduate and graduate student researchers. These opportunities train students to engage with diverse ways of developing, asking and answering research questions. They prepare them for success in whatever field they choose.”

Nipissing-Timiskaming Member of Parliament Anthony Rota was also at the media release, congratulating the researchers on their achievements.


Shamrock Cup a HUGE Success

The inaugural Shamrock Cup Road Hockey Tournament was a smashing success, raising over $1000 for the Paul Nelson Memorial Scholarship. Six teams battled it out for the coveted Shamrock Cup, with the Dark Knights eventually taking home the glory. The event also featured a chuck-a-puck competition, as well as bbq lunch and t-shirt sales. 

Organizers would like to thank all those who participated and contributed to making the event a success. 

The Paul Nelson Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to a third-year Bachelor of Physical and Health Education (BPHE) student in Nipissing’s PHED 3016 Coaching course who exemplifies excellence in the development of their coaching philosophy.

Paul Nelson was a hard working and well-respected student in Nipissing’s BPHE program. Paul was actively involved in the community, specifically in volunteering his time with his local fire department. He died in 2011 in a tragic accident while responding to a fire call.

To honour his memory, Nelson’s friends and Nipissing BPHE faculty have created a scholarship in his name and raise funds through an annual Paul Nelson Memorial Ice Hockey Game. The Shamrock Cup Road Hockey Tournament in just one way to get involved and show support in memory of Paul Nelson. 

Nipissing | Schulich

Nipissing University
100 College Drive, Box 5002
North Bay, ON, Canada
P1B 8L7
Tel: 705.474.3450
Fax: 705.474.1947
TTY: 877.688.5507