The grand opening of the Mattamy Athletic Centre this weekend and the festivities in the past month featured 6 Varsity games, an opening ceremonies attended by the Prime Minister and a full-scale arena concert. Behind the amazing success of the weekend is a group of hard working individuals whose passion, dedication and ability to rise above the call of duty made it all happen. From Ryerson Athletics, Recreation and Global Spectrum (the building’s facility management company) every member of every section of the Mattamy Athletic Centre staff came together to help each other wherever and however needed. Below is a collection of some of those individuals and a little bit of their story.
David Hamilton – Assistant Building Operations Manager. David has been driving a Zamboni for over 10 years. As Assistant Building Operations Manager almost anything to do with the day to day technical operations in the building can fall onto him. Making sure all systems are go in a building still getting it’s finishing touches takes a lot of dedication – David’s secret? “You have to love what you do, and we all do”.
2) Jonathan Pires – Event Manager. Jonathan is a perfect example of the teamwork between building staff that played such an important role in the weekend’s success. Originally employed by Ryerson Athletics he was brought onto the Global Spectrum facility management team as Event Manager. Suffice it to say with over nine events in three days regular sleep was not the norm.
3) Lauren Thompson – Assistant Director of Events. Short staffed leading up to it’s big opening, Global Spectrum brought Lauren to Mattamy from the John Labatt Centre in London. On a weekends notice she was on the team at Ryerson. Doing repeated work days into the early morning hours takes a special kind of team spirit. Lauren seems more than happy to do her part to keep the team working smoothly.
4) Paul Buksner – Manager of Ice Programming & Sales. Paul’s job as Manager of Ice Programming and Sales usually puts him behind the computer and on one or more phones. This weekend’s ‘all hands on deck’ attitude saw him and the rest of the team moving furniture, putting up volleyball nets, mopping floors and generally being at ground level for event set-up. A life long sports fan he loved the chance to see and be a part of the work that goes unseen behind every sporting event, even enjoying the ‘chance’ to work all night.
5) Troy Murray – Corporate Sales Coordinator. Troy’s story as Corporate Sales Coordinator is similar to Paul’s and indicative of the work put in by everyone at the Mattamy Athletic Centre this past weekend. Although his job description puts him in charge of all the corporate advertising space available within the Mattamy Athletic Centre he was no stranger to the physical labour of setting up for events and taking part in the long hours his team faced together.
6) Nadine Ransom – Sales & Marketing Coordinator. As Sales & Marketing Coordinator, some of the more ‘out of the box’ tasks Nadine had to perform this weekend included stuffing thank you bags for every single guest at the opening ceremonies and placing a noise maker on every single seat of the hockey rink.
7) Jim McLarty – Sports Information Director. Jim is the Sports Information Director, a job that has gone through a dramatic shift with the increasing need for web presence and digitally based media. Last year Jim started a volunteer based initiative for students to become involved in creating webcasts of every home game which could be viewed on the Ryerson Athletics website. It is his hope that these kinds of opportunities can be crafted into future course curriculums to get hands on experience in the hands of students.
8) Carly Clarke – Women’s Basketball Coach. A new addition to the roster of Ryerson coachers, Carly had just 7 practices to shape a new Women’s Basketball team into competitive form. The team’s work paid off with a win in their opening weekend game.
9) Keith Baulk- General Manager. The first person brought into the Mattamy Athletic Centre with Global Spectrum, Keith saw his staff through fifteen hour days and was the very first person to put a noise maker in your hands at many of the weekend’s games. If school spirit starts with a big smile and a lot of enthusiasm, we are in good hands.