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Toronto Sports Summit Experience

by Emerson Steffler is a second-year Sport Management student at Humber College.

More than 150 participants attended the Toronto Sport Summit on November 23rd hosted by Humber College’s North Campus. The Summit is Toronto’s signature community-sport networking and capacity-building event for leaders of clubs, leagues, multi-sport organizations, funding partners, students, and other program providers.

Heading into the event as a volunteer and attendee I had many expectations. I was looking for a well-structured event, held for a good cause, that would provide valuable information and takeaways to better myself in the future.

The summit began with the keynote speaker, Scott Russell of CBC Sports, who delivered a moving speech about how to improve upon sport and recreation programs in Canada. This speech detailed things our country can do in order to improve on all levels of sport from the grassroots level all the way to elite sport. Russell discussed the importance of bringing more young females into sport, creating a universal code of conduct for all stakeholders, and also emphasizing self-fulfillment over winning.

With the conclusion of this speech and Q&A, we were given a 10-minute break which gave participants a chance to mingle and connect with new faces around the room as well as get some food and drink. We then headed to one of five breakout sessions. These workshops covered topics, such as Rowan’s Law; Coach/Athlete interaction and relationship; creating a culture of belonging in sport; risk management; and advanced training opportunities. The discussions were facilitated by experienced individuals in the sector of sport and recreation, were well presented and included good takeaways.

After the workshops, we were treated to a Greek lunch prepared by Humber student chefs. The meal was excellent and gave us time to network with other delegates. During this time, people were allowed to place bids on the silent auction supporting the Toronto Sports Council TEAM Fund.

Following the meal was a panel discussion with workshop leaders summarizing their topics as well as answering questions from the audience. After the question period, the MC, Wendy Dobbin from the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, made a concluding speech and announced the winners of the raffle draw.

I enjoyed the event and the topics that were covered. The Summit definitely helped me make important connections and learn more about what can be done to improve sport and recreation in our country.

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