Following two consecutive postponements in 2020 & 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, GIS & UCFB students were treated to a once in a lifetime opportunity last month as they flew out to Toronto, Canada for the inaugural GIS Toronto Global Sports Summit.

During the week-long event, students were treated to a host of inspiring guest speaker & networking sessions with some of the North American sports industry’s leading professionals. This year’s Summit featured speakers from the likes of GIS partners Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), Toronto FC, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Argonauts, Canada Soccer, Major League Soccer (MLS), Canada Basketball & Revolution Soccer.

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Based at Toronto FC’s BMO Field, Summit attendees were given an exclusive opportunity to explore Canada’s leading soccer stadia & witness the behind-the-scenes operations at a globally recognised sports venue. As part of the Summit’s live sport experiences, students soaked up the BMO’s game day atmosphere at Toronto FC’s wins against CF Montreal & Atlanta United.

Away from BMO Field, students were also able to sample other sports in the form of a CFL game at Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and Major League Baseball (MLB) at Toronto Blue Jays’ Rogers Centre, whilst also visiting MLSE venue Scotiabank Arena.

The unrivalled experiences at this year’s Toronto Summit weren’t limited to just sport though; the world famous Niagara Falls was the first visiting point of the week, several students visited the iconic CN Tower & others took in everything that the ‘6ix’ had to offer in an unforgettable week.

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Commenting on the success of the Summit, GIS President Sharona Friedman said: “We were delighted to finally be able to welcome our students and alumni to Canada for our inaugural in-person Toronto Global Sports Summit at the iconic BMO Field.

“With 5 major professional sports teams, Toronto offers an unrivalled sporting experience and, as a proud Canadian, I was excited to showcase my amazing home city to all Summit attendees.

“The standard of speakers, facilities and experiences at this year’s event were first-class, which is something we’re extremely proud to have been able to provide for our students and alumni. We’re also really grateful for the support of MLSE in the months leading up to, and throughout, the event. MLSE are widely regarded as one of the premier organisations in world sport and have been a pleasure to work alongside. We look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with them in the future.”

Reflecting on his experience at the Summit, UCFB-GIS Global Ambassador Jack Fealy said: “The Toronto Global Summit was a once in a lifetime experience.

“I don’t know any other University that gives its students the opportunity to travel and network, connect, and learn with some of the industry’s leading professionals.

“Not only was the networking brilliant but the events outside of the guest speaker sessions, such as Niagara Falls, Blue Jays Baseball, and a behind the scenes look at Scotiabank Arena, also made the trip unforgettable. So many new friendships made, so many new connections, so many stories to tell.”