Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX’s unique-in-Canada Sport Management Minor continues to grow, attracting students and first tenure-track position

September 10th, 2021
Prof. Jonathan Hood (centre) is pictured with business student Renee MacLeod (left) and human kinetics student Ben Boudreau, who are both taking courses in the Sport Management Minor

A unique-in-Canada program offered at StFX that brings together students in the Gerald Schwartz School of Business and the Human Kinetics Department to study sport management, continues to grow and become more formalized, now with the addition of its first tenure track appointment. 

Jonathan Hood, an expert in sport management, and a StFX graduate, has been named the first tenure track faculty member for StFX’s Sport Management Minor, which offered its first course, SMGT 101, in winter 2018.  

“After three years of consistent enrollment, the minor now has a tenure track position. This is very exciting, and attests to the minor’s growth and popularity. Having Jonathan who is a former CFL player, who ran his own charity and motivational speaking business, will provide interesting perspectives for students in the SMGT minor,” says human kinetics professor Dr. Charlene Weaving, who sits on the Sport Management Minor committee with Dr. Neil Maltby and Dr. Denton Anthony from the Gerald Schwartz School of Business and Dr. Ornella Nzindukiyimana from the Human Kinetics Department. 

Arriving at this stage is also a testament to the good and successful collaboration between the Department of Human Kinetics and the Gerald Schwartz School of Business, Dr. Nzindukiyimana says. 

“While there are sport management degrees across Canada, the Sport Management Minor – connecting a business program with a kinetics program is unique in Canada,” says Dr. Maltby. “This affords students the opportunity to complete a degree in one area and achieve an additional learning experience and credential in a complementary area.”

It also allows two different faculties to interact and the students from each to get to take courses together.

Dr. Maltby says one form of collaboration is the creation of four new courses – introduction to sport management, as well as sport management courses in human resources, ethics & law, and marketing.  

As he joins StFX in a faculty role, Prof. Hood says he is looking forward to connecting the talent at StFX with the sport industry. 

“We have phenomenal graduates who have a stellar track record of making a significant impact in the organizations they join. Why not bring that to sports? I am also privy to various plans to bring more professional sport to the Maritimes (i.e., a CFL team) and understand that this will require the onboarding of highly skilled and highly trained professionals. I am excited to be part of our students' development for careers in sport both here and abroad.” 


The discipline is related to the business of sport and recreation, and covers management in the context of professional, amateur, and intercollegiate sports, as well as community recreation. 

It was introduced at StFX to provide students with the opportunity to study a distinct, inter-disciplinary and incremental topic that complements their BBA or BA HKIN studies, provides an additional micro-credential to add to their primary degree, and to provide more career options as sport management is a burgeoning field of employment, Dr. Maltby says. 

Dr. Weaving says being able to complete a degree in human kinetics or business and a minor in sport management appeals to a growing number of students. 

In fact, she says the Human Kinetics Department and the Faculty of Business submitted a proposal to Senate in 2016-2017 in large part to meet student demand. 

“The minor was introduced to fulfil a gap for both business and human kinetics students,” Dr. Nzindukiyimana adds.

“An understanding of the sports world from an organizational point of view was something neither program offered before, yet which students were interested in. Across the continent, sport management programs have been growing exponentially in the last few decades as the industry has expanded. With the minor, the Department of Human Kinetics and the Gerald Schwartz School of Business found a way to offer students the opportunity to learn about the area in the current unique format.” 

Dr. Anthony says the program has been a welcomed addition to both BBA and HKIN students and is a program that separates StFX from comparative universities.

The program fulfills an academic need not only for students, but society in general, he says. “In addition to sports, students graduating with this minor may find themselves working in the areas of recreation programming, and wellness programming.”

The Sport Management Minor currently has over 100 students from second to fourth year enrolled. Dr. Maltby says this includes over 75 BBA students from marketing, management, enterprise systems, entrepreneurship, accounting, finance and international business, and about 30 students from the BA HKIN option. 

Sport management, he says, is a global industry spanning all these areas so students are able to apply any of the business specializations to professional, amateur, inter-collegiate or community sports organizations. 

“I think this makes sport management an accessible, attractive option from an academic perspective, as well as a valuable addition to students’ career credentials and industry options.

“Many of these students have decided to come to StFX because of the minor, both to have the option of studying the topic, but also to create career options for after graduation.  The minor has definitely become a recruitment tool for StFX.” 

Dr. Nzindukiyimana says seeing the minor evolve and adapt to a fast-changing industry with strong ties to society is exciting. Additionally, the minor’s growth is of great benefit to the growing Antigonish community, she says. 

Taking sport management courses is also an opportunity to learn about a unique industry, which carries important socio-cultural implications, she says.

“An important aspect of this is also leadership—students who join are interested in being better leaders in a fast-paced industry at any scale. It attracts students who are passionate about helping and improving their communities through sport. It also attracts students interested in learning about the inner workings of an exciting and stimulating industry with a range of employment opportunities. The minor is an equally valuable foundation to those interested in pursuing a sport management post-graduate degree.”


Jonathan Hood is a StFX graduate, a former linebacker and top special teams player in the Canadian Football League (CFL), where he played for six years and acted as his own agent. He was an Athlete Ambassador for Right to Play and Canadian Tire’s Jump Start program. During his CFL career, he finished his master’s degree at Western University, and became a motivational speaker, leadership coach, and youth mentor. He created the non-profit organization, Ahead of the Game, to focus on youth empowerment based on the research on physical activity adherence and support during his MA. The organization’s formal mission is “to provide ‘side-lined’ (marginalized) youth with the support, motivation and resources they need to succeed, while increasing their self-confidence, and developing leadership skills to help them take charge of their lives and become engaged, contributing members of their community. Prof. Hood is currently completing his PhD at the University of Toronto. With academic and professional activities overlapping, he has been able to use research to inform his professional activities, while also using his leadership and advocacy to inform his research interests. His current research includes engaging young people in community based participatory research (CBPR) methods to design and facilitate mixed methods research projects in their communities. He also adopts his research in the corporate world where he uses his skills as a researcher to help organizations (including charities) with curriculum development, program evaluation, organizational culture, leadership training, and sustainable practices. Additionally, he has been a sessional instructor for four years at the University of Guelph-Humber.

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