Sport for Life has had a fruitful relationship with co-operative education since its inception in 2005, with multiple students making key contributions to the organization over the years, and many going on to work long-term within the industry.
As our non-profit continues to grow and flourish, the team plans to continue relying on post-secondary students to bring new perspectives, encourage diversity, and contribute to our mandate.
“As a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of quality sport and physical literacy to everyone, we are constantly looking for fresh faces who will help guide us into the future. We have had so much success with co-op students in the past, many of them becoming integral members of our team, that we wanted to continue providing meaningful experiences to future Quality Sport Champions by teaming up with the co-operative education departments at UVic and Camosun,” said Sport for Life’s Senior Manager of Operations Kabir Hosein.
“It’s a win-win for us, because we get to impart the principles of Quality Sport and the core values of Sport for Life to students and they, in many cases, get their first opportunity to work within the industry. It’s a very meaningful experience for everyone involved.”
One UVic student who has now worked with the organization on and off for nearly a decade is Tyler Laing, the Manager of Communications. He completed his first co-op term in 2011, then continued in a part-time role before fulfilling his final co-op with the organization as well. That term was extended into a full-time position, and now he’s one of the longest-serving members of the team.
“I’m a big proponent of co-op. I think it’s great for professional development and preparing students to enter the job force, helping them work on everything from going through the interview process to resume-building and skill development. I would highly recommend co-op to any student who is considering it,” said Laing.
Another member of the team, Annie Lau, got her start with co-operative education. She felt it helped her get an edge over the competition as she entered the job market.
“I knew having co-op placements would lead me to a job I wanted to work in within the sports industry. Working in this industry is extremely competitive, so that is where my co-op placements came into play. I learned a lot and gained a lot of work experiences which were beneficial, and led me to my first full-time job with Sport for Life,” said Lau.
“Without co-op, I honestly have no idea where I would be. After I graduated from college it took me at least two years and countless interviews across Canada to find a job due to my hearing loss - despite having so much variety of work experience on my resume.”
Having now been in the role for years, she’s thankful for the role co-op played in making this happen.
“Co-op on top of school and varsity taught me time management, the ability to multitask, better communication skills (verbal and written, with internal and external contacts) and how to be a "above and beyond" team-player. Without these skills and that valuable experience, it would be even more challenging to get a job in the sports industry.”
CEO Richard Way has met each of the co-op students, and is thankful for their contributions to the company. Some have gone on to other opportunities, including gigs at companies such as Nike. He plans to meet many more students in the coming years.
“Co-op students really helped us with our capacity to be able to develop quality sport and physical literacy resources and gave us the capacity to achieve the goals of the many projects that we’re running. It’s great to have younger perspectives, and to meet students from so many different backgrounds, and with such a variety of lived experience,” he said.
“Often they come with an understanding of the latest technology, or the latest trends, and that’s allowed us to learn from them and integrate that learning into the work we do. By bringing in young talented people, we were our clients better and give opportunities for young people to start off their careers.”