Darcy Quirke worked as a logger, roofer and labourer before deciding in his mid 20s that he wanted to develop a career.
His sports at Taupo-Nui-a-Tia College were rugby, volleyball and rowing and he now competes in Strongman events, testing his strengths and skills by flipping tyres, pulling trucks and lifting rocks. So he chose to pursue his interest in sport through tertiary study.
This month Darcy will be one of three to be capped with EIT Hawke’s Bay’s new Bachelor of Recreation and Sport and Bachelor of Business Studies Concurrent Degree – disciplines he says mesh well and offer a level of professionalism now widely seen in the areas of recreation and sport overseas.
Employed as a lifeguard at Napier’s Ocean Spa, he has opened a small personal training studio downtown and is developing wellness and employee programmes to market as cost effective and feasible packages to businesses.
“It doesn’t take much investment for a company to look after its employees,” he points out.
Already applying what he learned in business studies, Darcy believes his major in human resources will also be valuable in pursuing a career in sport.
“A lot of theories and ideas really work well in this area – in team building, for example, and in developing people’s skills.”
Liking Hawke’s Bay and its weather, Darcy chose to enrol at EIT because of its size and the wide range of study options.
He first completed the Diploma of Recreation and Sport, a qualification he found useful for getting jobs in gyms. Staircasing to the Bachelor of Recreation and Sport, he decided in the first year of degree studies to also do the Bachelor of Business Studies.
Doing a variety of papers, he met a lot of people and says relatively small class sizes encouraged learning and allowed students to talk to lecturers about their ideas.
Eighteen months ago, when he and partner Rachael Palmer had their son Lucas, EIT gave him the flexibility he needed to complete that year’s study programme. He also took advantage of summer school to finish his degree early.
Darcy is looking forward to graduating on Friday, 26 March. He feels it will be an occasion that acknowledges the effort students put in to gain their qualification – in his case, four and a half year of hard work.
“It’s really nice to be finished,” the 32-year-old says with a satisfied smile.