Joshua Samuel Budish: Mastering The Field!

I rarely read the Athenaeum, you know, the Acadia Newspaper. Acadia is a HUGE part of the town of Wolfville and I love the buzz and feel of the town when the students arrive and spend their time here. They make the town feel alive and vibrant and, when they are polite and treat the town nicely, I enjoy them even more!  I picked up the Ath a few weeks ago and saw a small profile about Joshua Samuel Budish, a gentleman who has come into the Il Dolce Café a few times and was super friendly and talked about how much he’s enjoying Wolfville while he’s here attending Acadia and, because the Ath profile was so small, I wanted to know a little more about him. So here’s an extended look at Josh, we’ll call him JSB for short!

JSB comes to us from Toronto, Ontario, born and raised. He completed his undergrad in History (mainly the History of Sport!) at the University of Guelph, then attended Algonquin College in Ottawa where he obtained a postgraduate certificate in Sport Business Management… Are you seeing a sportsy/active/outdoorsy theme going on here? JSB then made the smartest decision yet and joined us here in Wolfville to complete his Masters in Recreation Management.  He says, “My Masters focus is the relationship between local coaches and their community within the context of community development”.  It was also evident during our interview that, besides sports, family is very important to Josh. “I am very close with my family, my parents Dianne and Alan to whom I literally owe everything, my two brothers, and my Grandmother, Estelle, who I literally love more than life itself.”

JSB says work begins and ends with his thesis. Broadly speaking, his field is called Sport for Development.  Sport doesn’t have to be about winning championships or signing a huge contract, it can be about so much more than that and Sport for Development is the general field that is dedicated to unlocking that potential. Josh picked international sport as a focus of his work. He traveled to Cameroon two years ago to volunteer with a sport academy in a city called Limbe and he caught an adventure bug that has him itching to travel and explore and experience sport in its many different cultures and circumstances. Josh explained “from July 21 – October 13 of 2012, I lived and worked in Cameroon in West-Central Africa.  I worked with a volunteer football academy and coached kids aged 9-12 and 17-19.  The culture shock lasted about two months but what an amazing and humbling experience. For better or for worse, every single day something memorable happened. This past summer from May 30 – August 4, I went back to Cameroon to conduct my thesis research.  While I was there someone asked me what I was going to miss most about Cameroon.  While my international friends were very high on that list, so too was the notion of the “new”.  While I was there I made everlasting friendships, climbed a 13,000 foot mountain, hiked the rain forest to a secret lake, played the harmonica for a room full of dancing Cameroonians, worked in schools, spoke at seminars on teaching through play, traveled on dangerous roads and by dangerous motorcycles … I did things that I cannot do in Toronto and will always remember the feeling of knowing that everything that I see and experience in each place in that country is specific and unique to that part of the world.”

Back here, Josh is involved with the Acadia Graduate Students’ Association (AGSA), who are constantly fighting for recognition on campus (in a school of 4000 students, there are only 500 grad students). The AGSA holds social events throughout the year, including conferences that give grad students an opportunity to share their work with the world, giving them a reason to leave the ‘grad student hole’ as they call it. All the events are open to the public.

You should check out the website at theagsa.ca or find them on Facebook so you don’t miss out on the special work these students are doing.

JSB and I have two things in common: we can both grow a beard in a few hours and we both have a great love of Music. Where I just pop a CD in the player, Josh takes music to the next level and actually plays harmonica, guitar and drums. He likes the Valley because there’s music everywhere and it has a brilliant outdoors life as well.  On his bike ride to school, he is treated to views that are so beautiful and unique. He says, “There’re so many things about the Valley that I am not used to, but love.  The sights, the autumn leaves, the fact that people in the East really are much nicer than people in Toronto!  When I first got here, it took some getting used to having people I didn’t know ask me about my day and being genuinely interested in how my day was going.  That is not something a Torontonian is used to!”

After his Masters is complete, JSB has a future filled with sport and travel. Maybe some work with the Olympics? Definitely pushing sport and community to the next level. Thank you Josh for bringing your ambitious attitude, determination, and your good nature to Wolfville.  Best of luck mastering those fields!

Mike Butler