Our alumni are located all over the globe, making an impact using the experiences and education they received as students in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management.
We’re featuring a selection of our grads on our UMToday network page in a Q&A section entitled KinRec Connect. In this feature, we learn about our featured grad's career path since graduating from U of M, as well as some tips and advice for current/prospective students.
Giulia De Leo, B.Kin, 2008
I graduated in Feb. 2008 majoring in Kinesiology – Health and Wellness stream. That is ten years ago this year!
Once I graduated, I volunteered at several gyms throughout the city. I also began one-on-one personal training right out of school. In Aug. 2009, I started my own business, De Leo Athletics, which offered private, small group training and bootcamps. My career has provided me with so many amazing opportunities to work with a wide range of people and athletes which always keeps things interesting. During my career I have worked with everyday individuals trying to get in shape to elite NHL athletes, I have even had the opportunity to work with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers leading the team in day after game recovery exercises. In 2016 I had the opportunity to work on television as a off ice trainer for the reality TV show Hit The Ice. You never know what kind of interesting opportunities can come your way!
Chris Chong, B.R.M.C.D., 2012
I graduated in Feb. 2012 with a Bachelor of Recreation Management and Community Development.
When I graduated, I was fortunate enough to have already been employed with Recreation Services within the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management starting in Sept. 2009. I worked closely with the Coordinator of Intramurals, Clubs and Special Events and oversaw a lot of the day-to-day operations of those campus programs. I was also the League Convenor of the University of Manitoba hockey, basketball and soccer leagues until Dec. 2013.
From there, I thought I should explore other opportunities in recreation and sport outside of the faculty, and in general, the University of Manitoba (I had already spent so much time there as a student!). I joined the Manitoba Major Soccer League and was its Member Services Coordinator until March 2015. I eventually returned to the university as a Student Recruitment Representative in the Admissions Office and then re-joined Recreation Services as a customer service representative at the Active Living Centre in Oct. 2015.
In Jan. 2016, I began my current position as the special events & projects coordinator for Volleyball Manitoba. I knew I wanted a career in sport administration before graduating but after graduating, I realized that I also really enjoyed event management. My current position allows me to do both as the event coordinator of Super-Spike, one of Canada’s biggest outdoor/beach volleyball tournaments, and overseeing other Volleyball Manitoba day-to-day operations.
Monte Wong, B.Kin-AT, 2002
I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in 1998, and then I graduated with my Bachelor of Exercise And Sport Science Degree [now Kinesiology], majoring in Athletic Therapy in 2002.
While I was pursuing my Doctorate of Physical Therapy, I certified as an Athletic Trainer through the National Athletic Trainers Association, and I certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
I obtained my Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2005, and accepted a job in Pittsburgh at the Centers for Rehab Services, Center for Sports Medicine, at UPMC Sports Medicine. I worked there from 2005-2009, starting as a Staff Physical Therapist and was promoted to Senior Physical Therapist, as well as Clinical Coordinator of Education.
In 2009, I decided to move to Minneapolis, MN, where I accepted a job offer from TRIA Orthopaedic Center as a Senior Physical Therapist. I worked there from 2009-2013. During my time in Minneapolis, I got involved with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, treating their players who were not traveling because of injury. I also got involved with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, where I started to help them with pre-season physicals, and then to mini-camps. For two seasons, I ended up helping the athletic training staff out on the sidelines during home games. I also obtained became Board Certified in Sports Physical Therapy.
In 2013, the Philadelphia Eagles called me regarding a position with their athletic training staff, on recommendation from the Minnesota Vikings athletic training staff. I accepted a position with the Eagles and became their Physical Therapist/Assistant Athletic Trainer.
I have been with the Eagles since then, and I just finished my fifth season with the organization.
What I like best about working for the Eagles is that it feels like being part of a family and has felt that way from the very beginning. They welcomed my family with open arms, and having that has been tremendous, especially coming to a city where we did not know anyone. The mentality about being a family, with this season in particular, definitely showed. We overcame a lot of adversity and everyone stuck together, pulling for each other and fighting for each other. From top down, we are all together and the outcome was the perfect ending. The city of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Eagles organization couldn’t have deserved this championship anymore. My family and I are forever grateful to be a part of this group.
Stacee Ophey, B.R.M.C.D., 2017
While she only earned her degree last year, the 24-year-old FKRM alumna is already making an impact in her field.
This story begins in 2016 while Ophey was on fieldwork placement with the City of Winnipeg’s Community Service and Recreation Department. Her first assignment was a big one, she recalls.
“I was asked to take on a report into barriers to sport for North End youth. Not an easy task, but I helped stir the pot a little bit.”
Over the span of her four-month placement, Ophey re-assessed previous reports into the matter, interviewing close to 40 different organizations (primarily north end schools, sport and recreation providers).
Ophey’s report identified finances, transportation, and lack of equipment and support as the most significant barriers for youth access to high quality sport and recreation.
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