DC sport business conference raises $2,500 for charity

Ryan Xavier, left and Mario Chiodo, students in the Sports Business Management program at Durham College. Photo credit: Leslie Ishimwe

“Invest in school sports and make them relevant,” and help give kids access to the benefits of physical activity and team environments.

That was the message delivered by Randy Gill of Their Opportunity at this year’s ninth sports business conference that took place at Durham College (DC) Nov. 29.

Gill is the director at large of Their Opportunity, an Oshawa-based fundraising charity to help low income families enrol their kids in sports.

The day-long event was organized by students in the Sport Business Management post-certificate program at DC. Speakers from the business of operations with the Toronto Raptors, Montreal Canadiens and Oshawa Generals were among those who attended the conference.

The conference raised approximately $2,000 in support of the the Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) foundation and an extra $500 to the Sunnybrook Hospital Wellness Centre.

The event had two purposes. The first is for the post-graduate students to learn how to organize, brand and theme an event. The second purpose is to make connections with the attendees and learn career opportunities in sports, according to Matt Akler, professor of Sports Management at DC.

Akler, teaches a class called Successful Sport Event in which students prepare the conference. He says the 19 students who put the event together worked at it from September until now.

Ryan Xavier, 30, and Mario Chiodo, 23, co-chairs for the event, say it turned out to be successful and they’re both pleased and excited to see the final results.

“We sat down and decided, we really need to put people in the best position for them to succeed. From the beginning until now, a lot of our classmates developed well into their roles and (developed) skills they’ll probably use in their career or their internship,” says Chiodo.

More than 100 people attended the event. Xavier says he’s proud of the work they produced, noting they had the fewest number of students in their class compared to previous years.