Behind the scenes

Sitting behind his lowered computer desk inside the offices of the RAWC, assistant program coordinator Cameron Walker laughs and explains that he’s in the process of finishing some alterations to the table, which was supposed to be raised. Within the first five minutes of the meeting, it’s easy to see why he modestly describes himself as “a jack of all trades, master of none”.


Walker’s work as the newly established assistant program coordinator keeps him busy. Along with program coordinator Louise Vanderwee, he organizes and coordinates the UTM Sports Camp. In addition to that, Walker keeps himself busy helping the aquatic coordinator, Rachel Tennant.


A former Sports Camp participant, Walker’s initiative got him the position of camp counsellor at 17. With the opening of the RAWC, he and Tennant were hired as pool supervisors. He split his time between working at the RAWC and completing his kinesiology degree at York. That experience more or less served as an internship, including filling in for Vanderwees when she was on leave. On her return, the associate program coordinator position was created specifically for Walker, allowing him to take advantage of the “top-down” knowledge he built overseeing the RAWC as the  interim program coordinator, while combining his “bottom-up” progression through the workings of the RAWC behind the scenes.


His passion for sports lets him appreciate his position. “The most rewarding part is, I get to work with athletics every day; it’s always interesting, it’s always fun,” he said. He gets the most out of his position by personally participating in campus intramural teams. “I think about the opportunities I have as a UTM staff member. Working for the university, you can play for the Campus Rec leagues. You go work in a business tower, you’re not going to take your lunch break playing soccer—so it’s an amazing part of it.”


Walker admits the job can have moments he describes as “yo-yoing”. He finds himself extremely busy some weeks, while in others activity tends to scale off.  “At the pool we have two trainings at term, so four terms in a year, so eight—eight staff trainings, plus hirings, plus additional certifications. I do teach First Aid/CPR as well; I do those on the weekends sometimes, in the evenings sometimes.”


His challenges are not limited to his individual duties; continuing to build up attendance is an issue: “We can always use more attendance. If you come, we can make space and a team for you. As soon as you show up and you have fun in our programs here, you’re hooked. They’re not going to leave once they come—we’re there to be seen even in the social media world, Twitter and Facebook.”


For students who want to find Cameron Walker and communicate with him in “the social media world”, he works with the UTM Athletics Twitter account (@UTM_Athletics) and their Facebook page, “UTM Department of Physical Education, Athletics & Recreation”.

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