Sports management students extend efforts to Winter Games for networking chance


By Anthony Joseph

Anthony Joseph Photo
Lisa McCann of the sports business management program is one of the five students volunteering in the Olympic and Paralympic festivities for Sochi 2014


As part of the second leg of their internships, five students from Algonquin’s sports business management program will fly to Sochi, Russia to lend their hands as volunteers during the Olympic and Paralympic festivities.

The trip, funded by the students themselves, will count toward their as second and final internship required in the course.

The students, some of them former athletes, learned of the opportunity through professor and program coordinator Dave Best. Doug Best, Lisa McCann, Mikaela Martin and Stacey Hull make up the Olympic volunteers, while Gregory Robertson will be the lone Paralympic volunteer.

Martin, currently interning at Commonwealth Games Canada and already a visitor of 25 countries, will be working communications in the international press centre and she’s hoping to take this opportunity to learn from the best while also doing a little networking.

“You’re working with the best of the best when you’re working at the Olympics,” said Martin.

“You have people who are at the main press centre, people who are chosen to represent Canada so I’m really hoping that I can make contacts that way and just learn from them and be able to bring it back here.”

Lisa McCann, former Brock University swimmer and current AthletesCAN intern is also looking forward to seeing how all the pieces come together.

“I want to be able to have the best hands-on work experience and I want to see how everything runs and how everything connects,” said McCann.

“You read about it, you hear about it but it’s a different thing to be involved in it making it all happen.”

Possessing an undergraduate degree in French and Spanish, Martin is also using this chance to add another language to her repertoire.

“I came in last year and talked to Dave and he mentioned that he was working on the Olympic thing,” said Martin.

“So I told him that if he let me go to Russia, I would learn Russian to go.”

She’s currently one year into the process.

Her fellow Commonwealth Games Canada intern, Stacey Hull, sees a lot of the same potential benefits.

“I hope that through this placement I’ll be able to build on the skills I have and also acquire new skills that I can put towards a future career with a national sport organization (NSO),” said Hull.

“My goal is to be involved with an NSO in the fields of sport event planning and management and communications. I would love to be able to continue working internationally as well.”

As an intern, Hull works mainly on the Sport Leaders Abroad Program.

Through the program they send qualified and experienced Canadian sports leaders to assist local sport organizations abroad in various expertise based project placements.

“I absolutely love it there. It’s a challenging work environment where I’m able to learn new skills each day,” said Hull.

“I especially love working internationally, which has allowed me to really excel in my communication and organizational skills.”

When it comes to Sochi, Hull will be working at Canada Olympic House and she didn’t shy away from showing her excitement when it comes to the event and everything surrounding it.

“I absolutely plan to take in some events and experience the local culture when I have breaks in my work schedule,” said Hull.

“I would love to go to see a Kontinental Hockey League game if the timing works out. This is such a unique opportunity, I think we’re all going to be taking in and enjoying absolutely everything.”

The Olympic volunteers will be in Sochi from late January to late February while Robertson will be there as a Paralympic volunteer for the first three weeks of March.