In order to create an online platform to exchange information between our readers, we’ve started with weekly interviews with our readers.
They all work in sports, and therefore have experience to share with all of us.
Name: Debbie Qayum
Function within your sport organization: ADMINISTRATOR & SPONSOR
Current profession/ job: Owner, Coach and Administrator
Most practiced sports in your country: Icehockey, Rugby and baseball
1. How did you come involved in your sport organization, and what kind of tasks/functions do you have?
I became involved through my children wanting to try the sport. I than saw a need to have a way that the kids could learn in a safe environment at their own pace and could also become involve in a sport that would interest them. I created a sport organization in skateboarding along with a friend of mine who’s interest in skateboarding was similar to mine. I am an owner of a skateboarding team and set up a number of competitions. I also own an indoor skate park.
2. What is the biggest challenge you currently have?
I have been setting up skateboarding teams within the school system. I have had to break down walls of stereotyping which has been the biggest challenge.Talking to class rooms and businesses.
3. People often underestimate being a volunteer working in sports management. What do you think is the most important aspect in sports management for volunteers?
The most important aspect is the value it gives to the sport. For the volunteers it is the work experience they receive and the life lessons they learn along the way.
4. Does your sport organization make use of facebook, social media and websites ?
Yes facebook SideStep Corp skateboarding, sidestepschool.blogspot.com, Also under construction right now is sidestepSK8.ca. You can also find the school under regularunderground.com under the school drop down. We have several volunteers helping with the sites. We use this for our student athletes and parents and the general public.
5. Do you have any favorite sport management resources (books, films, magazines or websites?)
Concrete magazine, Tony Hawk websites, local skate shop updates, and of course this website!
6. What do you think are the most important characteristics for a volunteer responsible for sports administration?
Honesty and Heart.
7. How do companies and potential sponsors see your sport? And how does this affect your approach towards them?
This sport is seen as dangerous and a rebel sport. I educate people that it is safer than biking and if taught properly and with proper safety gear it is a fun safe sport to do. I show the talent it takes to do this sport and I put together a team to work together to compete against other teams in different categories, to show different skills.
8. What do you consider as biggest threat for your sport, and why?
Bad publicity. It just takes one guy to do something stupid to shed a bad light onto the sport and it takes a lot of good publicity to undo it.
9. Where do you see your sport in 10 years? Will you still be part of the organization?
I would like it to be in the Olympics just like snowboarding is. I would like to be involved in this sport until the day I die.
10. What else would you like to share with our online readers?
Skateboarding is one of those sports that involves kids who would not other wise be involved in any other type of traditional sport. These teams give them the sense of belonging and working towards a common goal…..to win!