History students learn from Canadian sporting legends on Toronto trip

Postgraduate students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) saw their teaching on public history come to life on an international trip exploring the sport and creative industries of Canada.

Students from the History MA joined the latest batch of students who went on the visit, organised through the university’s international experience programme DMU global.


Tours of the Hockey Hall of Fame, sports stadiums at the mixed-venue Exhibition Place and the cultural and creative hub of the Distillery District, were run alongside talks with industry professionals, allowing students to delve into the business practices, sport and heritage of Toronto. 

The academic trip, organised by Associate Professor of Sport Management Dr Heather Dichter, has run annually for three years however this is the first time it has opened up to students on the new History MA.


Programme Leader for this course, Dr Pippa Virdee, said: “We opened the trip to Toronto to the History master’s students and I think it was a fantastic opportunity for them as quite often postgraduate students feel left out of DMU Global activities.

“This was a great opportunity for the students to broaden their knowledge in terms of Canadian history, sports history and – as the students study a module on ‘Public History and Heritage’ – it allowed them to build on this and see some of that in action too.”

Stephanie Morton, one of the History MA students who went to Toronto, said: “The trip allowed me to gain a different perspective through learning about the history of Canada and their relationship with the rest of the world.”

With ambitions of becoming a history lecturer, the 22 year old from County Durham also highlights how the trip has benefitted her future career.

She said: “I formed contacts with people not only from various industries, but also from the university and it allowed me to learn more about studying abroad for my PhD.

“The highlight of my trip was a talk we had with the Jay Care Foundation - the way their team works and the development and growth of the foundation encouraged me to learn more about possibly working with a foundation like them in the future.”


For class-mate Joshua Fowler experiencing sport the Canadian way live at a Toronto Blue Jays’ baseball game and a cultural visit to Niagara Falls were the high points of his visit.

The 22-year-old from Peterborough, who hopes to gain funding for a PhD, said: “On more of the business side, the talks by the NHL and by the Jays Care Foundation were fascinating and I would love to work with the Leicester Tigers Foundation that has a similar ethos to them.”

Posted on Thursday 8th August 2019

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