Varsity athletes might get a lot of the glory but it takes 150 people to make Mohawk College’s Department of Athletics and Recreation operations run smoothly.
“So much of what we do goes beyond varsity athletics,” says Director Matt Ferreira. “We are one of the largest employers of students on campus. We employ close to 100 students across our department.”
All told, the Athletics department employs 150 people, including coaches and assistant coaches and four full-time administration staff.
The department instituted a high-performance culture and structure for varsity athletics a few years ago but that mindset extends into every aspect, says Ferreira.
The student employees in Mohawk College’s Athletics department work in facilities management, manage intramurals, extramurals, and drop-in sports, broadcast games, write game-day stories, post on social media, set up for game day, and act as commentators, statisticians and table staff.
Students also serve as team managers, handling team uniforms, setting up equipment and assisting the coaching staff for the nine varsity teams.
Mohawk College is home to the state-of-the-art David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre (DBARC), which houses three gymnasiums, a fitness centre with a weight room, cardio equipment, and walking track, a multi-purpose fitness and spin studio, two outdoor basketball courts, multiple socialization areas, and meeting and office spaces.
Managing those facilities requires a team of 52 students, who are either employed or on co-op placements, says Facilities Supervisor Ashley Mamone, who’s been with the Athletics department since 2018.
The Facilities team interacts with Mohawk students, athletes, faculty, staff and community members who rent gym space. They check in facilities users, clean and maintain equipment, help out with intermural and extramural leagues, provide customer service, and provide game-day set up and tear down.
“We ensure that all programs – varsity, intermural, extramural and community – operate smoothly.”
“This is a busy place and very customer service-focused. The people who typically are interested in working here aspire for a sports-centric career. This shows them what the day-to-day operations are all about.”
“There are incredible opportunities here from a student staffing perspective. This is a big operation and we are really proud of it.”
Recreation Therapy student Alysson Claxton works in facilities within the Athletics department as a Wellness Customer Experience Representative.
“Athletics is a great environment to work in. I’m a very go-go-go person and there is always something going on. I love coming to work every day.”