Sports collaboration benefits students of all levels

Issue: Volume 97, Number 7

Posted: 26 April 2018
Reference #: 1H9iX3

By working together through a hands-on learning programme, two Waikato-based education providers are ensuring their students get the sporting expertise they need.

Secondary and tertiary students in the Waikato have the opportunity to learn from each other, thanks to a new sporting partnership between St Peter’s Cambridge and Wintec.

Students from the Master of Science (Sport and Exercise Science) and Postgraduate Diploma in Exercise Science, plus other honours and undergraduate students from Wintec, will deliver strength and conditioning training to St Peter’s secondary students over the next three years.

Wintec’s Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance Director Greg Smith says it is an opportunity for Wintec students to embed real-life experiences into their learning.

“From a master’s to an undergrad student, they actually get to apply the science of their learning to their studies with the range of developing athletes that are in the St Peter’s programme.”

At the same time St Peter’s, which aspires to have one of the best sporting programmes in schools in New Zealand, benefits from having the additional human resources to work with their athletes, he says.

“They get the resources, they get a scientific approach to their programme, they get access to the research and the recent knowledge that we have within our programmes, and they get support from the [Sport Science] Centre.”

Although the Wintec students are not studying to be teachers, they are well trained to deliver a sports programme.

“Delivery is a component of the content we teach and we’ve got a very applied-science model, which builds them towards the ability to be able to do that.”

Greg believes the collaboration partnership is a model that could easily be applied by other education providers.

“We are in a range of other schools as well; we’ve got a very similar relationship to St Paul’s in Hamilton and also with Cambridge High School, so the model is definitely transferrable and we are transferring around different locations around the Waikato. I think it is applicable to other subjects; I haven’t thought through that because it’s not my area! But I’m pretty sure it could be,” he says.

“I think it’s about understanding how each party or each part of the programme gets value, so as long as there’s a common understanding that’s around developing people, and working with education, institutions like schools, and tertiary, there’s a common thread first of all.

“Secondly, and perhaps, most importantly, is understanding the value that a partner requires and being able to deliver it. I think if you can create a win-win situation, and it’s cost effective, it’s got every chance of being successful.”

St Peter’s Director of Sport Nic Slade agrees that the programme will be beneficial to both parties.

“I just literally sent out an email asking for a meeting to see if there was a possibility of building a beneficial relationship between St Peter’s and Wintec,” says Nic.

“We had a really good chat about what we were trying to achieve at St Peter’s and they had a chat about what they were trying to achieve at Wintec in providing viable pathways for their students there. We agreed that there could be something that works for our strength and conditioning programme, which is ever-growing, and also works for their students so that they’re placed at our school.”

Wintec students work with each premier sports team from St Peter’s on a year-long strength and conditioning programme.

“While most people will not go on to high performance sports, literally 90 per cent of students will train in the gym. It’s to make all people at our school gym-literate, whether they’re into playing sport or not, to align us with our school’s emphasis on wellbeing.”

Wintec students also benefit from mentorship provided by St Peter’s head strength and conditioning coach Todd Barker, who has shown that the key to delivering a successful sporting programme is to engage a student’s heart and mind, says Nic.

“That’s all part of the learning that they undertake through Todd; he was the strength and conditioning coach for Waikato Rugby for about 10 years. They’ve got such a fantastic mentor to work under.”

In the end, the results speak for themselves, he says.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 12:30 pm, 26 April 2018

Get new listings like these in your email
Set up email alerts