Upon graduation from UWaterloo in 1977 with an Honours BSc in Co-operative Kinesiology, I had no idea of the incredible work experiences that awaited me over the next 40 years…wait…what!? 40 years…how did that happen? In the blink of an eye I’ve gone from starry eyed graduate to wizened workplace veteran, all the while owing a debt of gratitude to my time at Waterloo.
As the Executive Director of a children’s sport charity called KidSport here in BC, and after a previous 20 years as a Fitness and Sport Coordinator with the Vancouver Parks and Recreation, my degree has led me down a very diverse and ultimately satisfying career path.
I am a very strong proponent of the co-op education system. The unique work experiences that I was fortunate enough to undergo helped me to understand my passion for our amateur sport system. From working in intramural sport at UWaterloo to teaching fitness and lifestyle courses to Aviation students at Seneca College to working with incarcerated youth at Syl Apps Correctional Centre, my experiences helped me to understand that work was more than a paycheque. Indeed, making a difference in people’s lives came to mean so much more and Waterloo was instrumental in forming that belief system.
Perhaps most importantly, I am still good friends with both classmates from those wonderful years and with teammates from the legendary Renison Rats basketball team. Those friendships and life experiences form an integral part of university life and, I would argue, are at least as valuable if not more valuable than the degree itself! The Campus Centre pub nights and the countless hours spent in the gym evoke perhaps my fondest memories of Waterloo.
While the passage of time may lend a rose-coloured tint to those days, I truly believe that my time at Waterloo was arguably the best period of my life. I consistently make that point when providing advice to young people heading into the post secondary world and will always put UWaterloo at the top of my recommended places to earn a degree and get the life experience that comes with it.
And now for a shameless plug for KidSport! We provide grants to families facing financial challenges to assist in the costs of organized sport registration fees We have 11 provincial and territorial chapters and over 180 community volunteer chapters across this great land and are always looking for sponsors, donors and volunteers. We’d love to have you join the KidSport family! Visit www.kidsport.ca to find out more.
At this giving time of year, when so many of us are in the holiday spirit and are looking to help others less fortunate, please consider helping KidSport to get a kid off the sidelines and into the game. Our Give the Gift of Sport campaign is a national holiday initiative in which we are aiming to raise $150,000 (in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday) and give at least 500 kids the joys of a season of sport. Please visit www.kidsport.ca to make your donation….SO ALL KIDS CAN PLAY.