Friday, February 22, 2013

Student-workers score big with athletics

By Julianne Bartosz
Editor in Chief

If there is any Saint Mary’s University department that can keep student-workers entertained, it is the Athletic Department.  With a wide range of opportunities, student-workers are both challenged and entertained as they get to support SMU student-athletes.

Opportunities with the Athletic Department include game support like announcing, keeping statistics and working the scoreboard.

“I get to see a variety of teams and games for each season,” said sophomore Samantha Borawski.  “This basketball season, I saw all but two games between the men and women’s teams because I worked all of them.”

Borawski has had a range of jobs through the Athletic Department.  She has been a ball girl at soccer games and a scorekeeper at basketball and volleyball games in addition to working in the ice arena and at concessions.

She said that the biggest challenge is keeping the scoreboard accurate, especially during basketball games. Borawski said, “The entire crowd notices any mistakes that I make.”

Senior Vince Lulic faces a different challenge with the scoreboard.  As an official scorekeeper for both the men and women’s hockey games, Lulic said the biggest challenge is when a scrum results in multiple penalties.

“I must record each penalty correctly, both time and offense, all in a timely fashion so that the game may resume as quickly as possible,” said Lulic.

Despite its challenges, Lulic said the most interesting part of scorekeeping is being behind the scenes.  “I’ve played hockey before and certainly sat in the sin bin a few times,” he said.  “As I sat in the box, I never really knew what the penalty box attendants always did.  Now, I know.”

In addition to game support, student-workers also run concessions stands during games and work in SMU’s athletic facilities during the day.

Sophomore Alex Raske currently works in the Recreation and Athletic Complex (RAC) at both the front desk and in the weight room.  She has also sold tickets for both the men and women’s basketball games.

According to Raske, the biggest challenge is getting into a routine.  “There are a lot of keys to memorize,” she said.  “So it is challenging to remember what goes where.”

Raske said she found it interesting to learn that a lot of students come to the RAC to work out even though they aren’t on a sports team.  She said, “It shows they want to be active and fit even when not competing on a team.”  Otherwise, Raske said her favorite part of working in the RAC is being able to do homework while working.

Senior Allen Mekash has his own reason for enjoying his work for the Athletic Department: Saint Mary’s Sports Information Director Donny Nadeau.

“He is the king of what he does and has always been very helpful by showing me the ropes and giving me advice to help me succeed, as well as helping Cardinal Athletics succeed,” said Mekash.

Mekash isn’t the only student-worker who has acquired some insight.  Borawski said that working game support has changed her view as a student-athlete.

“We [student-athletes] never realize how much effort goes on behind the scenes to ensure that games run smoothly and look professional as possible,” said Borawski.  “The Athletic Department does an amazing job of making sure that every game is held to a high standard of performance by those who work on game support.”

No comments: