Sport Business Management students hold college’s first sports conference

Kate Beirness, a University of Ontario Institute of Technology graduate and current co-anchor of TSN’s SportsCentre, was one of the guest speakers at Durham College’s first Sports Business Conference.

March 4, 2011

Students from Durham College’s Sport Business Management programs held the college’s first Sports Business Conference last November to showcase professional opportunities within the sports industry. Attendees to the full-day conference, which took place on November 16 at the Campus Wellness and Recreation Centre, included local secondary school students, Durham College students and members of the public.

With a focus on the roles of women and media in sports as well as sports economics, the conference included breakfast, a chance to listen to several guest speakers and networking opportunities.

One of the featured speakers was Kate Beirness, a University of Ontario Institute of Technology graduate and a current co-anchor on TSN’s SportsCentre, who spoke about her experience in the sports industry. Beirness was a strong supporter of athletics while on campus, acting as an announcer for on-campus varsity basketball games.

The conference was planned and executed by students, in particular Melissa Garmatz and Cam Crawford, co-chairs of the event. Their role as co-chairs included organizing, budgeting, ticket design, the co-ordination of sponsorship opportunities and the booking of guest speakers.

“It was a pleasure, not only to be involved with the event but to have the outstanding opportunity to act as co-chair,” said Crawford. “It was great to gain hands-on event planning, execution and management experience prior to entering the industry. The conference provided a great forum for students to interact with leaders from within the sports industry.”

Although planning the conference was a challenging task, the students received support from various faculty members including professors Janice Robinson, Matt Akler and Kate Houze.

“The inaugural year of any event can be a challenge but we were extremely fortunate to work with so many fantastic individuals,” said Garmatz. “I am very proud of how well the conference was executed, the calibre of speakers we were able to attract and the support and guidance we received from faculty members. It was an amazing learning experience that allowed me to develop skills that I will carry forward into my internship and subsequent career.”

For more information on the college’s Sports Business Management program, please visit