Kinesiology student finds perfect fit in orthotics

- Joy Poliquin

Ask Kyle Stroomer to sit still and you’ll be out of luck. For the past four years, the kinesiology student has juggled up to two jobs at a time, as well as various sports commitments and volunteer opportunities, all while taking full-time classes. “I’m someone who needs to be busy,” he says. “It’s been a challenge to juggle work, school and a social life, but I’m used to it.”

The Powell River native originally chose UVic for its proximity to his hometown. Once he arrived he quickly translated his love of sciences and sports into a degree in kinesiology. “I got a job at the Ian Stewart Complex, and was also weight training there, plus I was always playing intramural sports, so a career in health sciences seemed like a natural fit.”

Stroomer joined the Kinesiology Co-op Program to get hands-on experience in his field, and travelled to Costa Rica for his first work term, where he worked as a wild bird rescue assistant in a wildlife reserve. He remained in Victoria for his second work term as a camp leader at a summer camp for teens living with disabilities.

For his final work term, Stroomer landed a job as a lab technician and receptionist for regular co-op employer Hamilton Orthotics and Sports Splinting. The experience turned out to be life changing. “I had never really thought of working in orthotics but I’ve found that it’s a great fit with my skill set and interests. I did everything from managing the daily operations to fabricating orthotics and helping with modifications. My employer, John Hamilton, was very supportive and I learned so much.”

Stroomer has also been active in the local community, volunteering with Students for Literacy and the Gordon Head Recreation Centre, and working as an athletic trainer with the Victoria Rebels football team. He credits family and friends for helping him manage his ample responsibilities. “My family has really been there for me and I am so appreciative. And the friends I’ve met at UVic have been very supportive.”

After he graduates this month, Stroomer will continue working for Hamilton Orthotics in a full-time position. “It’s a terrific work environment because I am always being challenged and am constantly learning,” he says. He is considering further studies in prosthetics and orthotics. “But if I’m not in school, then I will definitely be in Victoria. I love contributing to this community. It’s home.”


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Keywords: kinesiology, grad, finds, perfect, fit

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