UofG grad creates scholarship for sport and event management major
For Patrick Cook, development manager at the Lang School, sport was more than just an activity on a field or track. It was an opportunity to develop skills and values important to personal and professional growth.
During his undergraduate studies at the University of Guelph, Patrick Cook was a varsity athlete with the Guelph Gryphons cross-country team and track and field team. For Patrick, sports played a larger role in his life by helping him develop and learn valuable skills relevant to the business world.
In hopes of inspiring students to take their passion for sport and turn it into a career in sport and event management, Patrick recently made a gift to the Lang School to support undergraduate students in the new Sport and Event Management major.
"The gift provided to Lang's sport management program by Patrick Cook is focused on students," said Norm O'Reilly, professor and director of Lang's International Institute for Sport Business and Leadership. "When he was thinking about making his contribution, Patrick asked me about the best way to help out sport management students. He wanted to be sure that his gift helps young sport management students and their career goals."
Learn more about Patrick and his recent gift in this Q&A
Why did you choose to create a scholarship for students in the sport and event management major?
I chose to create a scholarship for students in the sport and event management major because I have always been passionate about sports and I come from a sports family. We have always enjoyed playing sports and watching them live. In addition to this passion for sport, I spent the first part of my career in event management and production, and I feel that sport and event management as a career is a viable option for graduates. I particularly like that this major is within the Bachelor of Commerce program, which means students will learn a plethora of additional business skills that will set them up for success in several areas.
What impact do you hope this gift has for scholarship recipients?
I hope that the impact of this gift will help encourage students to pursue their goals of a career in the sport and event management industry and help offset some of the financial pressures that post-secondary school can have on students and their families.
Ultimately, I would like to see the Sport and Event Management major at Lang to become recognized nationally as a leader within the industry, and scholarship support for our students is a small step in helping make that a reality.
As a former varsity athlete, sports have been a big part of your life. What value do you think sport brings to personal development and beyond?
Sports can bring many values and skills to one's life. Specifically, it teaches you discipline. Sports can also be an identity for someone, which can help guide the way they carry themselves and how they approach their studies or responsibilities. Hopefully, students who take this major will take on this type of identity and strive for excellence.
What values and strengths do you think Lang graduates can bring to the evolving sport industry?
I believe that Lang graduates will bring a multitude of values and strengths to the evolving sports industry. Specifically, I think that they will bring a new lens of sustainability to the industry. I also believe that Lang students are dedicated and practice teamwork from the first semester of their studies. They have the ability to come together to tackle complex problems and find sustainable solutions. With the thriving varsity athletics program, students will be able to put their skills and knowledge to use right here on campus, ultimately strengthening both the Lang and Gryphon brand.