Unique SMC coverage of Winter Universiade

Syd Brown & Kelly Lapointe: Our Team Canada

At 2011 Winter Universiade In Erzurum, Turkey

By John Iaboni

When the Erzurum 2011 Winter Universiade Organizing Committee, through the International Sports Press Association (AIPS), extended a couple of invitations to Sports Media Canada, two young ladies – Sydney Brown and Kelly Lapointe leaped at the opportunity.

The assignment is divided into two unforgettable experiences for an international group that will number 20 in total: An inspection tour of the facilities from December 19 to 23 and the Games of the 25th Winter Universiade from January 27 to February 6.

Brown and Lapointe garnered strong consideration to represent Sports Media Canada as an International Olympic Committee Young Reporter at the Youth Olympic Games last summer in Singapore, an experience that went to Emily Ridlington.

But now Syd and Kelly get their chance covering another elite global sporting event which is expected to feature a record 57 countries.

Forty-four countries with 2,366 participants were at the 2009 Winter Universiade in Harbin, China. Among the 20 nations that gained medals in 2009, China and Russia led with 18 Gold apiece but Russia won the overall tally with 51 medals to China’s 48.

Canada earned six medals (one Gold, four Silver and one Bronze). The Gold came in the first appearance of women’s hockey at the Winter Universiade. York University’s Courtney Unruh scored the winning goal in Canada’s 3-1 triumph over China in that history-making Gold Medal game before a capacity crowd of 5,700.

Lapointe has been a sports journalist for several years in Fort St. John, B.C., while Brown is completing her studies at York University in Toronto with a keen interest in pursuing a career in sports journalism. Both are about to gain invaluable knowledge in their passion as they put their skills to use in Erzurum.

Lapointe and Brown will provide our web site with blogs from their Erzurum assignments as well as producing other articles of interest for other outlets. We are delighted they eagerly accepted the invitations and look forward to reading their articles and viewing their pictures from Erzurum.

Here, in their own words, is an introduction to our Journalistic Team Canada for Erzurum – Kelly Lapointe and Syd Brown.

Kelly Lapointe


I am currently the sports editor for the daily newspaper, The Alaska Highway News in Fort St. John, British Columbia. I’ve been here for almost three years, always covering sports and been the sports editor for over two years.
I freelanced in general news and politics before this job and I have absolutely fallen in love with sports. It also doesn’t hurt that Fort St. John has produced three Olympians and three Paralympians and I’ve been on World Cup conference calls and understand how international sports coverage operates.

I love the challenge of interviewing athletes. It’s always different, especially when the difference between winning and losing a championship is measured in hundreths of a second.
I’m originally from Orleans, Ontario and did a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Sociology at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. So far my career has given me opportunities that I never thought possible – like running backwards in front of the Olympic Torch when it visited Fort St. John before the Olympics, or getting to see Grey Cup preparations in Edmonton.
I am beyond excited to experience Erzurum, Turkey for the 25th Winter Universiade. I have never travelled to Turkey and I am looking forward to experiencing the culture and history that the country has to offer.

I can’t wait to learn more about snow volleyball, one of Erzurum’s traditional sports. That sounds like something we need to bring back to Canada!

Syd Brown



I have a confession to make: I am addicted to sports! Growing up in the small town of Kincardine, Ontario on the shores of Lake Huron, I didn’t have many options to keep me busy throughout my childhood. So my parents enrolled me in sports at a young age. In my 21 years I have devoted much of my time to traveling from rink to rink and field to field all in the quest of dominating the competition. Hockey is my main passion and through it I have developed a healthy love for high-level sport.

In my final year of minor hockey, I was asked by one of the coaching staff to write the game articles for the local papers. The experience opened my eyes to a whole new way of being involved with sport. I ended up applying to York University for Communication Studies, where I have been studying for the last four years. Although I am still involved with hockey at a high level through the York Varsity team, I have decided to aim my sights on making a career in sports media.

I am very excited to be able to head to Erzurum, Turkey for the 25th Winter Universiade. I have heard that Turkey is a very beautiful country and its people are very hospitable! Teammates of mine, including my roommate Courtney Unruh (from Fort St. John, B.C.), were part of the Universiade in Harbin, China and could not say enough about their experiences while they were there. So I have very high expectations for Erzurum. I cannot think of a better way to kick-start what I hope to be a lengthy career in sports journalism!