For the third year in a row, Durham College (DC) Sport Management students spent their fourth semester organizing a collegiate Hockey Helps the Homeless (HHTH) tournament in support of Durham Outlook. With tournaments held nationwide, HHTH lets hockey lovers skate alongside their peers while also making a difference in the lives of Canadians experiencing homelessness. The tournament on March 29 raised over $20,000, helping the 365-days-a-year soup kitchen continue to serve the most vulnerable residents of Durham Region.
On April 18, a cheque was proudly presented to Durham Outlook’s director of fundraising, Reisha Prasad, and directors Colin Deyong and Joanne Bolahood by Nadine Lamarche, program co-ordinator for DC’s Sport Administration and Sport Management programs, and her students.
A major project facilitated through their Sport and Event Marketing class, students began brainstorming for their HHTH event prior to the start of the semester and applied for co-chair positions last fall. During the class, students worked together to form sub-committees that focused on game day operations, sponsorship, player recruitment and marketing, which allowed them to apply their skills and interests to the planning, organization and execution of a real-world sporting event. Other groups from the class organized events such as the Esports Classic, a competitive gaming tournament, and Sport Management Alumni Reunion this semester.
“Within the sporting industry it’s imperative for students to receive hands-on training in a variety of areas of sport,” said Nadine Lamarche. “Experiential learning lets us show our students what it’s like working in various sectors and helps them gain networking skills and experience that will help grow their resumes prior to applying for their field placement and eventually for jobs post-graduation.”
While students were able to give back to their community in a meaningful way through HHTH, they also opened up opportunities for potential employment down the road. Three DC students, including one this year, have secured field placements with HHTH, helping the organization run tournaments across the country. Additionally, two DC grads have also found permanent work with the organization as tournament operations co-ordinators.