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Sport management students go international

Friday, 10 August 2012

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International sport is big business – just ask the students from ECU’s newest international study tour.

The Sports Venues and Events International Study tour was launched for the first time this year. It saw a mixture of undergraduate and postgraduate students travel to Sydney, and then through to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Greeley and New York, examining major sport venues and the management behind their largest events.  

Highlights included watching the New York Mets play the Philadelphia Phillies baseball game at Citi Field, checking out the Staples Centre in Los Angeles and watching the San Francisco Giants versus LA Dodgers at AT&T Park.

“The Staples Centre in Los Angeles was a highlight,” said ECU student Emma Woolnough.

“It was the first American stadium we visited, and it was really impressive. Getting a tour before the game provided our first glance into American sports and just how big it really is.” 

The group was welcomed to Staples Centre by LA Sparks President Mike Levy, who shared insights into his career and tips for success in the industry.

ECU student Casey Haw said: “I found it interesting - the interchangeable nature of the industry after Mike shared the different positions he held in NBA, MLB and NFL.”

Students also experienced some of the world’s most iconic leisure, recreation and cultural sites including a cycle over the Golden Gate Bridge, a visit to the famous Alcatraz prison, white water rafting in Colorado, travelling on the New York subway and the unique sites of Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles.

“I really enjoyed going to Central Park on the Fourth of July,” Emma said.

“It was a really interesting experience because it was very much like an Australian beach—lovely weather and the whole park was full of people sunbathing—but in the hectic and busy city of New York.”

Upon their return, the students shared their experiences with a panel of industry professionals, including Red Bull Air Race Event Manager Shani Wood and Patterson’s Stadium General Manager Gavin Taylor.

Other industry experts in the audience included Department of Sport and Recreation Director General Ron Alexander, WACA CEO Christina Matthews and Perth Heat General Manager Alex Pellerano.

The inaugural tour was touted a success by both staff and students involved.

“Students really stepped up and took on leadership and mentoring roles, looked out for each other and made sure everyone on tour had the best experience they could,” said Dr Alicia Stanway, who travelled with the students throughout the program.

“I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

The inaugural Sports Venues and Events International Study Tour was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations through the Study Overseas Short-term Mobility Program and was run by ECU's School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure.

For more information visit the Study Overseas website or attend the next Student Exchange Information Session on Wednesday, 5 September from 12-12:30pm at Mount Lawley (18.106) and from 12:30-1pm at Joondalup (4.238).

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