Cristy Latham is the fourth Director of Athletics and Recreation in Loyalist College’s history and the first female athletic director in college history, it was announced in June.
She replaces Jim Buck, who has retired after 36 years with Loyalist athletics.
Latham, who assumed her new role July 24 is a former student-athlete, having played varsity basketball at McGill University where she developed a passion for coaching students of all ages. She joins Loyalist with a background in athletics, recreation, and education since graduating with a Bachelor of Education in Physical and Health Education.
“I greatly respect student-athletes and the time and dedication it takes to balance academics and athletics,” Latham stated in a release. “Through my own experiences, I know I’ll be able to lead and continue to build a program that supports our students to develop the skills needed to succeed in both health and fitness and their impact on overall wellbeing, particularly in supporting academic success and creating a culture of inclusive participation will be a priority.”
Latham has held several leadership roles throughout her career, most recently as Director of Athletics in the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) for more than 10 years. She received her Master of Education in Special Education from the University of Alberta and became a Canadian Certified Athletic Administrator. Creating meaningful opportunities for participation in competitive and recreational sports, growing an exciting athletics culture, and supporting the students, coaches, and leaders in sports and recreation motivate her in her work.
“I look forward to getting to know the Loyalist College students, staff, and coaches and supporting their goals and ambitions,” Latham stated. “This is an exciting time to be a part of Loyalist, specifically in athletics and recreation. As the college continues to undergo significant change, I am grateful for the opportunity to grow and improve our programs and student experiences collaboratively. I can’t wait to cheer on the teams, celebrate their successes, and help them navigate the challenges.”
Ron Byrne, vice-president of students, sees Latham’s addition to the Loyalist community as one that recognizes the college’s continued commitment to the communities that Loyalist serves.
“Cristy’s experience fostering community engagement will position Loyalist’s recreational activities, athletics activities, and community focus positively for the future. I am confident that all our students and stakeholders will see the development of robust, sustainable, and competitive programming that aligns with Loyalist’s values and graduate attributes,” Byrne stated. “We are very fortunate that Cristy’s leadership will help forge the future across this important department of the college.”
With a student-first, community-focused approach, Latham will work to continue ensuring athletics and recreation at Loyalist is seen as a partner, both internally and externally and in promoting a healthy and engaged community. Along with her passion, energy and enthusiasm, she is looking forward to leveraging the challenges ahead to achieve big things.