Behind home games: the work of operations and Hawks’ Nation

Duaine Bowles, head of Humber's varsity operations, who leads his team to set up the sporting events here at Humber. (Jessica Reyes) Duaine Bowles, head of Humber's varsity operations, who leads his team to set up the sporting events here at Humber. (Jessica Reyes)

Jessica Reyes
Sports Reporter

Duaine Bowles is the man behind the cheering crowds and pumping music at varsity home games.

Bowles, head of Humber’s varsity operations, says it takes about two hours to set up the party for home-games.

Depending on the event, if it’s indoor or outdoor, it can take up to 15 people to get everything ready.

“As soon as the doors open I tell my staff that we need to make sure that everything is 100 per cent ready to go, “ Bowles said. “The music is pumping, and your walking into an event, not just a game.

“We don’t spend too much money, as far as our game set up goes. We already have a lot of the stuff in house,” he said.

The athletics association, Hawks Nation, greets fans coming into the gym and hands out swag.

Matthew Bukovec, small forward for the men’s basketball team, says the Hawk Nation creates a lively atmosphere with free popcorn and an opportunity for one fan to win a pair of house seats and dinner.

“The only thing they should improve on is getting the crowd to be more involved by chanting ‘defence’ to create a momentum for an advantage for us,” Bukovec said.

Fraser McKeown, a second-year business student at Humber, said he’s been part of the Varsity operation team since September 2014 and is enjoying it.

McKeown said some of his duties are to set up the stands, keeping score and ensuring a safe environment for everyone during all indoor games.

“It’s definitely worth looking into or at least applying for. It’s a good job to have while you’re in school and flexible hours,” McKeown said.

Students who want to be part of the varsity operations team must be a full-time student available to work Tuesday to Thursday evenings and occasionally weekends.

“We don’t discriminate. I have hired from just about every department within Humber College and Guelph Humber over the past two years,” Bowles said.

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