Hockey helps score a career path

Co-op, Education

- Holly Heuver


For new kinesiology graduate Dale Kirk, connecting hockey and academics made sense as he was considering post-secondary education.

“I always thought I’d be the guy running out onto the ice helping an injured player off,” he says. Kinesiology seemed like the answer to blend his love of hockey and his interest in helping people.

Although Kirk grew up in Edmonton, he developed a fondness for the BC coast during summer road trips. That’s why UVic seemed like an obvious choice for him. “One thing that really stood out was the number of co-op programs that are incorporated into degrees,” he says.

The co-op program became an essential part of Kirk’s academic career. His first work term led him to CBI Rehabilitation in Motion in Courtenay, BC. The clinic focuses on injury rehabilitation, often resulting from a WorkSafe BC claim. His second work term was at Parkwood Place, an independent retirement community in Victoria, where he implemented recreational activities for residents.

“I worked with a wide range of fantastic individuals,” says Kirk. “We had occupational therapists, doctors, physiotherapists and kinesiologists working as an interdisciplinary team to ultimately improve physical function and awareness.”

Kirk’s passion for helping people from all walks of life grew as he went through his kinesiology program and co-op placements. Working individually with CBI clients and Parkwood residents, and seeing their progress, made him realize a desire to focus on cardiac or neurological rehabilitation with diseases affecting mobility such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s.

There's so much about those conditions that I don’t know and it’s very humbling to be working with those populations. It allows me to gain perspective and realize how fortunate I am to function the way I do.
Dale Kirk, kinesiology graduate

Officially graduating this month, Kirk now knows his future will involve more than helping hockey players off the rink.

“I’d like to help as many people as I can—to help them keep moving and realize that they don’t have to stop living because they’ve been diagnosed with a condition.”

Beyond contemplating the idea of pursuing a master’s degree in occupational therapy, he also plans to hit the ice as often as he can. After all, hockey is where his journey began.


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Keywords: convocation, graduation, exercise science, kinesiology, student life, alumni, athletics, diseases, co-op

People: Dale Kirk

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