The War-Chiefs Sports Council and the Hall and Conard PTOs are sponsoring a Career Night on May 18 that includes a variety of panelists, including several from ESPN.
By Ronni Newton
Many of West Hartford’s high school athletes live and breathe for their sports, in and out of season. But for all but a tiny percentage, the relationship with sports other than as a spectator ends when they walk across the stage and receive their high school diploma.
The War-Chiefs Sports Council – a combined booster club of families from both Conard and Hall – is hoping to provide valuable information to high schoolers about a variety of sports-related careers that they can pursue following graduation.
“Careers in Sports Night,” which is scheduled for Monday, May 18, at 7 p.m., in the Hall High School gym, will offer information about “different career opportunities with a view towards sparking imagination and broadening horizons,” according to the promotional flyer.
“To my knowledge this is the first event of its kind,” said War-Chiefs Co-President Paul McConnell.
“The goal is simply to give kids an opportunity to learn about possible careers in sports entertainment or athletics,” said McConnell. A very small percentage of high school athletes will ultimately be able to support themselves actually playing sports, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t careers that continue involvement in a particular sport, or sports in general.
“I think kids will be surprised to learn that just how expansive the sports entertainment and athletic career field is and how many different types of talents are needed. Aside from athletes and former jocks the industry is filled with writers, technology experts, videographers, production experts, accountants, set-designers, and so-on,” McConnell said. “In addition, the career offers the opportunity to travel the world and meet all kinds of fascinating people with diverse backgrounds.”
- Colin Cowherd, host of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on ESPN Radio and ESPNU. He is also a former co-host of the show SportsNation on ESPN2.
- David Satlin, Bureau Producer of ESPN Deportes and a 20-year ESPN veteran. Dave produces news stories, interviews, live shots and other elements for all ESPN platforms. Currently his focus is soccer, boxing and baseball, but he has traveled the world telling stories at major events such as the World Series, World Cup and Wimbledon. In 2010, Dave won an Emmy Award as part of ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup Final in South Africa.
- Chad Milman, Editor-in-Chief of ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. Prior to joining ESPN in 1998, he spent five years at Sports Illustrated as a reporter. He is the author of seven books, including four bestsellers.
- Anne Parmenter, a native of England who is the long-time Women’s Field Hockey coach at Trinity College. She once coached lacrosse, field hockey and squash at Amherst as well as Field Hockey at UMASS and Holy Cross. She took a year took from coaching in 2006 to fulfill a lifelong dream of summiting Mount Everest.
- Betty Remigino-Knapp, the current Athletic Director for West Hartford, was Women’s Cross Country and Head Track and Field Coach at UCONN from 1980-1986 and 1989-1996. She is a graduate of Hall High School and has been West Hartford’s Athletic Director since 1999.
The moderator for the panel will be Founder and Director of 2-4-1 Sports (Life’s 2 Short 4 Just 1 Sport) Steve Boyle. A former Division 1 basketball player, Steve is a counselor in the West Hartford Public Schools and has coached soccer, basketball, cross country, lacrosse and track and field in New York City, Seattle, WA, and in West Hartford, CT.
“We hope to spark imagination and plant seeds in our kids heads to help them begin to imagine their futures. Life doesn’t end at 30 – or 50 – and there is reason to be optimistic about having to one day work for a living,” said McConnell. He is hoping that the panelists will be able to share their stories about their career paths.
The War-Chiefs Sports Council is hoping this model will be successful for other career day events, and they have already been talking with the PTO partners about future panels focusing on careers in medicine, law, entertainment, music, education, military service, etc.
McConnell is excited about the panel. “It should be a great night!” he said.
The ultimate goal is to help soon-to-be-graduates find a career that matches their skills and interests, and is something they can be passionate about. The flyer uses a variation of the Confucius quote,”If you find a job you love you will never have to work a day in your life,” and the War-Chiefs are hoping they can help West Hartford students do just that.