Blake Blondeel Is Taking Care Of Business
Local sports fans likely remember Blake Blondeel for throwing a thundering check, or scoring a key goal with the Chatham Maroons or Windsor Lancers.
Blondeel, a Tilbury product, is still taking care of business, but now he’s literally taking care of business for the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation.
Since moving to Calgary, he’s been working to represent organizations including the Calgary Flames (NHL), Calgary Hitmen (WHL), Calgary Roughnecks (NLL), Calgary Stampeders (CFL), and Stockton Heat (AHL) in both the sales department and assisting with public relations and media.
Blondeel is also representing Hudson Athletic Recruiting, focusesing on identifying high-performing athletes who are exceptional at their sport, and more specifically, elite student-athletes with their eyes on playing at the USports, or NCAA level.
After graduating from the University of Windsor, including completing his Master’s in Sports Management, Blondeel has been plying his trade in these sport specific roles, and immersing himself in the Canadian sports community.
During his Masters, Blondeel was working with the Canadian Olympic Committee, however, things weren’t clicking for him. That’s when the former Windsor Lancers captain decided to take a leap of faith, and move across the country.
“I wasn’t finding full-time opportunities back home and I was applying to some positions in Calgary, a very sport fanatic city ever since the Olympics, and it seemed like I would always make it to the last interview but because I wasn’t physically in Calgary, I wouldn’t get the role,” Blondeel explained.
“So, I packed my bags and moved to Calgary. I worked in the mall for 3 weeks and eventually landed with CSEC. I think ultimately what led to getting the role was that my boss liked the fact that I took the risks in moving out, that I was a student-athlete in university, and lastly, that I had a lot of work and volunteer experience assisting with the Men’s Hockey Program and Athletic Department at Windsor.”
Blondeel, who started his Junior hockey career as a 16-year-old with the Dresden Kings, is living his dream, applying his education in a career tied to sports.
“There is no bad days. Some better than others but I get to do what I love everyday and that is to work in sport,” he said.
“It sounds cliché but my days fly by because I’m passionate about what I do. Sport is such a fast moving industry and I still get the same rush I got playing on those busy game days where the Flames play the Leafs, Oilers, or any other teams. Whether its in normal times, walking into the Scotiabank Saddledome, where my office is located, or helping young athletes achieve their goals of playing hockey at the next level while backing that with an education. My goal was always to work in hockey and now it to continue to excel in these roles.”
Although he’s now across the country, Blondeel still looks back at his time with the Chatham Maroons and Windsor Lancers fondly. Hockey for Blondeel, has opened many doors.
“The biggest thing that comes to mind is the doors that hockey opened for me in regard to my career. I probably would not be where I’m at today if I didn’t have hockey pushing me to get better everyday. I loved playing for Chatham, the atmosphere at the games, the history of the team, the relationship built, the role I played for the team, it was fun.”
Blondeel’s time in Chatham led to a walk-on opportunity with the University of Windsor. After earning his spot with Windsor, Blondeel went on to an unforgettable career winning an OUA championship, going to the National tournament twice, and captaining the Lancers 3 out of his 5 seasons.
“My time with Windsor allowed me to grow as a person, a leader, and an academic.”
Now, after living his dream as a player, Blondeel is living it on the other side of sports, and help fans and young athletes alike gain access to a new level of engagement in sport.