In this post, Jacee shares some insight into her rewarding internship at Sport NSW in Sydney!
Over the course of six weeks I was an intern for a company called Sport New South Wales (NSW). At first, I was nervous because I do not have much of a sports background and never paid much attention to them growing up. However, this experience quickly became one of the most humbling and inspiring endeavors I’ve ever gone on and I look back in awe at the wonderful time I had with this organization.
I was placed at Sport NSW in the Disability Inclusion department with my co-intern Catie from the University of Pittsburgh. We quickly bonded over our general excitement for life and high-energy personalities during our early morning train commutes to Sydney Olympic Park, where the office was located. In the photo below, Catie and I were getting ready to help lead wheelchair sports as we posed with the ball!
On our first day we were introduced to our team, treated to an afternoon coffee where we got to shadow a business meeting, and got a general overview of what Sport NSW does. It was a lot of information to take in, but we were looking forward to our duties and getting to work closely with a strong team. Our objectives were simple: plan and execute events for school-aged children with disabilities to come and play modified versions of popular sports.
For the first few days we sat in the office and worked on various tasks to help get organized for events and better understand the organization. I made phone calls to secretaries at different schools and Catie perfected spreadsheets on responses. Working as a team was a wonderful feeling. We became more and more excited the closer we got to the day of our upcoming events, and finally the day was here.
Over the course of one week, Catie and I had the privilege to attend two events. The first event was an Activate Inclusion Sports Day (AISD) for school students with disabilities to attend and participate in modified versions of various sports such as soccer, rugby, cricket and goal ball. I had such a wonderful experience seeing the joy on their faces and playing along with the kids throughout the day. It was truly an inspiring event and I learned a lot about sports that aren’t as popular in the US.
The second event I attended was the Sport NSW Community Sports Awards. I had a lot of efforts aiding the team to prepare for this event and was so excited to see it all come together. I helped design the program booklet, set up for the event on the day of, and even had the privilege of organizing the trophies and standing behind the podium to hand each one to the Minister! The event was held to honor people that have dedicated their lives to improving disability inclusion in various sports. With over 250 people in attendance and about 30 trophies to award, it was a night filled with gratitude. It was inspiring to hear about the amazing things the award nominees have done and to witness their passion for sports inclusiveness. Something I will never forget is watching one of the Distinguished Long Service award recipients take the stage with the most grateful smile, all for his efforts the past 70 years in the paddling and canoe sport sector. I can only imagine the countless individuals he has impacted through his career, including the positive impression he made on me.
Staff photo from the Sport NSW Community Sports Awards.
Truly, I had the greatest pleasure to work with these individuals and they kept each day exciting and eventful. I was humbled by the shout-out from the CEO at the ceremony when he thanked his “bubbly American interns Catie and Jacee!”
Overall, my internship was a fantastic hands-on experience and my team was incredible to work with. I am humbled by the opportunity I had to complete an internship in a Global City and it has made a lasting impact on the way I view disability inclusion in sports. I have even considered pursuing a career in this field since my internship introduced me to the many areas in need of improvement to promote inclusiveness in sports.
Meet Jacee Yorks, a Wilkes University student studying Business Management. She studied abroad in Sydney during Summer 2018 and is a CAPA Ambassador this fall.