Mike Savoy: Grad champions sports in his community
Born and raised in Hamilton, Mike Savoy ‘05 had a natural inclination to attend Mohawk College for his post-secondary studies. Growing up in different recreation centers across the city, his passion for sports and recreation was something he wanted to turn into a career.
“I chose the Recreation and Leisure Services program because I wanted to work within the community. I felt I had a natural skillset for leading and encouraging communities to be involved in recreation, understanding the positive benefits of participating in activities,” he says.
In his senior year of the program, Mike completed a 2-semester placement with the City of Hamilton. Working with local seniors’ clubs and administrating the events they held widened his view of how recreation affects all walks of life; not just younger folks.
“This gave me a much broader understanding of the needs in recreation as previously, I had only had experience with children and youth,” he says. “It definitely gave me the tools which led to gainful employment.”
Today, Mike works as a sports specialist in the Recreation division with the City of Hamilton. Since graduation, his career experience has expanded greatly. From maintaining a role as recreation coordinator for several years to his present job, the skills and tools that Mike wields have made a strong impact on Hamilton’s recreation centers, and himself.
Mike says, “My previous role was mainly programming and it was great. I eventually looked for a new challenge. Working with different community groups is a strength of mine, so my current role is a good fit for me. I also get to collaborate with folks who provide services that fall within my scope of various sports knowledge, which is helpful.”
One of the reasons that Mike excels in his role is due to his own experiences with recreation as a child. From playing in parks to competing in sports across local recreation centers, Mike draws from his inner child and his educational foundation with Mohawk to positively impact recreational programming for this generation of kids.
"I attribute my childhood play to my work, being cognizant of what I had available to me and recreating that for young folks today,” he says. “Mohawk taught me to be inclusive of what the community needs, to find ways to connect to them in a meaningful way.”
Recreation is integral in development of future generations and the field is ever evolving. For those looking to make a difference in this field, Mike has some sage advice.
“I suggest volunteering at local recreation centers or other not-for-profit organizations to gain a further understanding of recreation. There are many different types of recreation services, where different experiences will help give you knowledge but also help you focus on what field you would want to work in,” he says.