WEDNESDAY, MAR. 28: Anita Amaral is completing her Masters in sports management from Temple University.
She was home over the summer and was working out at Sandys 360 and decided to try to combine her love for the facility and her need to complete her masters.
Ms Amaral is rotating through the various departments at Sandys 360 “so I’m doing a little bit of everything. I’ve worked on the aquatics side with the athletic director, the sports director, the after-school programme, marketing — all the different aspects up there.”
Ms Amaral said she did not find any one job better than the others.
“It’s fun to do a little bit of everything. It keeps me interested and busy.”
During her time as an intern she has discovered what makes Sandys 360 special.
“The community aspect is important. It’s vital to the way business is done as well. As a charity we were able to afford things by bringing the community into 360 and getting them involved.
“Being community-minded here is very different from the American mindset where everything is so regimented and so legalistic, to an extent.
“Here, there is some flexibility in everything we do. We start off with the questions of ‘What can we do to get the community involved or how can we go beyond ourselves?”
Ms Amaral is keeping a journal as part of her project for Temple recording what her hours were and what she did.
“I knew what the theory was before but now I’ve seen it put into practice. So I’ve tried to pull those experiences out and write a full report on them.
“I’ll turn a copy to Sandys and my evaluation on them as well as what I’ve learned.”
She added it’s well worth the trip to check out the community centre.
“It’s not that far to go up to Sandys to visit and there’s a lot going on up there. People always complain there’s not that much to do in Bermuda. Well, if you stay in Devonshire there’s probably nothing to do, but if you actually make an effort and use the whole island, there’s plenty to do.
“We have events going on here all the time.”
Bev Daniels, education and enrichment director for Sandys 360, said having Ms Amaral there was a two-way educational street.
She said Temple University had to ensure that the intern was going to be put through her paces and it wasn’t going to be a period of lax instruction.
“They wanted to make sure their intern was going to have rigour. So I had to submit a job description and it wasn’t going to be observation, but it had to be hands-on experience.
“They wanted to make sure when the intern left, the place was going to be different because she had an impact.
“From the front desk through to the after school programme, we’ve seen Anita’s impact.”
Mrs Daniels said just one of the areas that has changed was the front desk, where Ms Amaral did a week’s rotation through.
“She spent time greeting people and finding out about them. As a result of that she made the recommendation that we put together a package for new people arriving so even though someone might be coming in for swimming they might not know about all the other wonderful things that we offer.”
Mrs Daniels added the intern was involved in policy and procedure meetings and brought forth suggestions that were also implemented.
“It’s been an exciting journey for us to have Anita. When she leaves, she will leave a large void. She has learned from us and we have learned from her.”
Ms Amaral added to see her ideas put into place has been very satisfying.
“It’s been really fun to be able to give input and see it enacted and get feed-back.”