Last Wednesday history was made for Brock University as the Athletic and Recreation department announced a name change to Brock Sports. Which also changed the title of Neil Lumsden from Director of Athletics and Recreation to Director of Brock Sports. Certainly this is a huge change for Brock as we are welcomed to a new era in athletics and recreation.
Last year, even though all departments were unified as one, only months in from being Brock’s new director of Brock Sports, Lumsden often found that many departments referred to themselves as “we” rather than “us” which is something that he felt needed a change because even though there may be different sectors, both athletics and recreation were implemented to be one whole department.
“If you look up the word ‘athletics’ in the Olympics, the word is defined as ‘track and field only’. Well that’s not what we are,” said Lumsden. “And if you look up the word ‘recreation’, well that itself can mean a lot of things so it made sense to use the word ‘sport’ because it’s a much broader word that can allow for multiple meanings to fall under it.”
Replacing the name Brock Athletics and Recreation to Brock Sports made more sense in terms of unifying athletics as a whole because Lumsden described that even if you aren’t a varsity athlete or compete in a club does not mean that you aren’t a student athlete. There are many students who go to The Zone, swim, or play basketball on a regular basis; they are still classified as a student athlete because they are using the services provided to them to maximize what sport they specialize in.
But this all means so much more than just simply replacing a word with another. The word sport is much more powerful as well.
“I’ve always looked to sports as being a galvanizing material,” explained Lumsden. “Whether you are participating in the game or simply speculating, sport brings people together. Even just taking a look at the Olympics on how we as a country come together all because of sport. With what we’ve got coming this year with lacrosse, basketball, hockey, the We Are Ready team and so much more, Brock as a community will be coming together so it only made sense [to change the name.]”
With superb athletics in wrestling, lacrosse, rowing, and much more, Brock is unique and sets itself apart from other universities due to our success over the years which is something Lumsden took into consideration as he didn’t want to be defined like the others.
And it was up to him to take that next step and set us aside from other universities to classify ourselves as our own.
Lumsden described, “Brock has been known as Athletics and Recreation. And most universities across the nation have been known as Athletics and Recreation or Sports Services. Even before I got here I thought that was an antiseptic name for what really goes on between departments. And having some experience in coaching in the CIS, once I got here I thought, ‘I don’t want us to be the same as everyone else’. If we’re going to increase our standards of everything we do from performance, to coaching, to recruiting, then we might as well try to raise the bar and who we are.”
Now that the new name for the former Athletics and Recreation department has been changed and set in stone to Brock Sports, it always begs the question, what other names were thought of before they chose an appropriate name?
Lumsden explained how ever since he was hired at Brock, he was interested in changing the name to something else. But before he could do that, he needed the input of others, which is when he started asking younger members of the department what they felt represented and unified the now Brock Sports department.
“The answers weren’t about a logo change,” explained Lumsden. “But rather a cultural change and what we stand for. People rally around a logo and this university does really good with their logo, the badger.”
So he knew that Brock was very well known for their logo but felt the need that they needed something that better suited what the recreation and athletics of Brock really meant, which is when it hit him.
“So I heard something on the radio which made me come up with the name ‘Brock Sports’, it was just instantaneous and its right straight at you. Easy to understand, it’s who we are,” explained Lumsden.
Since the implementation of the name, Lumsden mentioned that he has had great results with the new name. Before the name became official, he asked others around the department what they thought and they instantly fell in love with the name once it was said. Lumsden mentions how the name is “punchy and to the point. We’re still the Brock Badgers – that doesn’t go anywhere. But both the new name and logo is awesome.”
Connor Allen, Sports Editor