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Massey University celebrated 20 years of its Sport Management and Coaching programme at a lunch at the Sport and Rugby Institute last week.
Associate Professor Andy Martin says the programme started before professional rugby and at the time was unique in the New Zealand tertiary sector.
He says the programme continues to lead sport management education in New Zealand and contributes an extensive network of graduates now in sport management and development roles in a range of sport organisations in New Zealand and around the world.
“In fact a number of our graduates were involved in last years Rugby World Cup and again at the recent Olympics in London in both facility and event management roles,” he says.
Prizes were also presented at the lunch to last year’s top students. The top overall postgraduate student was Hana McEwan who received the JJ Stewart memorial prize presented by Manawatu Rugby Union chief executive John Knowles. It was JJ Stewart who, as a former All Black coach and Massey Council member, lobbied in the 1980s for a tertiary education initiative in rugby and, more specifically, sport management and coaching.
The top overall undergraduate student was Frances Archer, who received the Outward Bound prize from marketing manager Liz Slater. The Outward Bound prize of a course scholarship has been offered since 2000. Past Outward Bound prize winners Stephanie Dench and Jonnie Haddon were also present.
Other prizes were awarded for top students, internal and distance, in the following papers:
The current cohort of practicum students were also thanked at the lunch along with their sport organisation supervisors.
“The projects undertaken this year have resulted in significant applied learning opportunities, industry engagement and connections for the students,” Dr Martin says. “Here in Manawatu, some 20 students have contributed at least 200 hours voluntary work each. Many of the industry supervisors of these students are also former graduates of Massey's sport management programme, which helps in continuing to set the bar high. If you add to that the 40 distance students and it makes it over 12000 hours contributed to the sport industry by Massey students in 2012.”
For his practicum, undergraduate student Jason Cole was match day event co-ordinator for the Turbos home games, based at the Manawatu Rugby Union. “This experience has been invaluable and if I had my time over I would pick this role every time,” he says. “As a practicum position its flexibility, room for creativity and positive environment made it an enjoyable position to hold; albeit one that requires a great deal of effort. All in all seeing countless hours of planning coming together on match day makes this role one that can be very rewarding; it will hence be one that I will treasure on a professional and personal level.”
Postgraduate student Vivienne Fountain was based at Sport Manawatu along with a number of other students. “This practicum has provided me with an invaluable learning experience. When I first began this practicum I lacked a lot of self-confidence and was initially quite terrified of how I would perform throughout the year. The support I have received not only from the Sport Manawatu staff but also my lecturer has meant I have been able to really enjoy my time at Sport Manawatu and as a result my confidence levels have soared – I now feel very excited to look for work in this industry.”