Taking Sports Seriously

Athletics department creates organization to introduce students to careers in sports industry

Part of Longwood’s mission and vision is to help its students become leaders who are prepared to make contributions and fully engage in the world around them. Longwood athletics will take on an additional role in that mission next semester with the creation of the Sport and Leisure Industry Management (SLIM) organization.

SLIM, a student-run organization, focuses on providing members with opportunities to excel in the sports and recreation industry and introducing them to the variety of jobs available in sports. The organization got started last spring and gained official university approval as of this coming fall.

“We want this to leave a mark and develop into something bigger for student success moving forward,” said Steve Robertson, athletics assistant director of marketing and SLIM co-advisor. “Sometimes there is a misconception about working in sports that you’re either coaching or playing. A lot of people don’t realize that there are tons of other opportunities in the sports industry.”

SLIM will help its members find out about the range of careers available by providing networking opportunities with working professionals, site visits, panel discussions and skills- development workshops. The goal is to give members the same kind of experiences that would be available in a sports management academic program.

“Since Longwood doesn’t offer this major, it made sense to bring something like this to the student body,” said Clint Waugh, athletics game operations manager and SLIM co-advisor. “We’re in a nation that loves sports, so naturally people will want to get in and thrive in this industry.”

SLIM is open to students in any major and already has 20 members from a variety of academic areas.
“One great thing about SLIM is that it’s open to all majors,” said Kayleigh Reid ’16, a business major from Virginia Beach. A member of the women’s golf team who served an internship in athletics marketing, Reid was SLIM’s co-founder and first president.

“We have a finance major, a kinesiology major and even a psychology major, so it’s a very broad group of people,” she said. “It’s a great way for students to pursue a degree they can use in another capacity, but also become involved in athletics if that’s what they choose to pursue.”

—Tim Castaneda