For individuals looking to make their mark in the world of sports, Durham College was the place to be on November 20 at the fourth annual Sport Business Conference. Organized by students in the college’s Sport Business Management program, the event brought together successful sport business professionals for a day of networking, discussion panels and keynote speeches.
More than 250 guests, including more than 80 high school students from the Durham Region and GTA, met and heard from experts in the fields of professional and amateur sports, broadcasting, sport associations, sporting goods companies and more.
“Our conference and conferences like ours are important because they provide students with the insight to aspects that are integral to success in the sporting industry,” said Evan Schwantz, Sport Business Management student. “They will learn either personal stories or certain aspects of these distinguished individuals’ profession that are required to succeed. “
The conference also featured a number of high-profile guest speakers including Jerry Howarth, radio play-by-play voice of the Toronto Blue Jays; Bruce Newton, director of Business Development, Hockey Canada; and Sid Seixeiro, television and radio sports personality with Sportsnet and the Fan 590.
Seixeiro, who has been working in sports broadcasting since 1997, shared stories of embarrassing interview moments, his favourite athletes to watch and gave the students in attendance some valuable advice.
“Figure out as soon as you can what you want to do and follow that path,” said Seixeiro. “If you can’t build that foundation as you go, which is what you have to do, things might pass you by. The resources are there to help you get into a lot of doors.”
Originally introduced in 2010, the execution of the annual event has become part of the students’ academic requirements for the graduate certificate program. All proceeds from ticket sales were donated to the Right to Play, a charity that uses sport and play to educate and empower youth.