Michael Mackey has been the heart and soul of the Varsity Athletics staff ever since he first donned the infamous Sammy the Sea-Hawk costume, five years ago. Being the Sea-Hawks mascot is no easy feat, but Mackey put on the suit with a smile. He continues to embody the spirit of Sammy every chance he gets, showing school spirit at Welcome Week, home games, and school rallies.
Mackey's ready to go attitude and incredibly loyal personality is what makes him so important to the Varsity Athletics team. Since his 2014 start, he has done a plethora of jobs for the Varsity department including camera work, mopping, ball shagging, retailing, event staff, announcing, volunteering, and of course his favourite job, being Sammy the Sea-Hawk. The variety of work he has done over the past five years has no doubt helped the Varsity program get where it is today.
I have had the experience of working alongside Mackey for the past four years, and I can tell you that he is invaluable to the Varsity department. He continually does jobs that no one else wants to do, and he does so enthusiastically. Let me tell you, the Sammy the Sea-Hawk costume is dark, smelly, and claustrophobic. No one in their right mind would voluntarily put on that suit, but Mackey does, with the most innocent and honourable intentions. He told me that his favourite part of working for varsity is when he "sees the way our younger fans light up when they see Sammy". Mackey puts the young children's enjoyment over his own self-indulgence every day of the week.
On days when I go in to see the Varsity Staff about work, Mackey is almost always there. He is usually doing odd jobs, and I can tell that he loves contributing in any way. Mackey is the glue that helps connect all parts of Varsity athletics. He believes "the best part of working for them is the sense of community/family that is created within the Sea-Hawks. Over the past five years of working with the Sea-Hawks I've made so many friends including athletes, coaches and staff."
Mackey has learned some hard lessons from working for the Sea-Hawks, citing the most important thing as mental health. He says "I have learned is how important it is to take care of your mental health and be there for others when they need you. In one of my years with Varsity we lost a member of our Sea-Hawk family and seeing how everyone, no matter what team you were on, helped each other get through the hard time, and became closer as a family. And it doesn't matter where you are, the Sea-Hawks family is there for you. They have been there for me whenever I need someone."
By: Sydney Hector