Happy to be part of this week’s (Friday, 26 March) EIT graduation ceremony, Casey Walker is also delighted that his qualification has been his entrée to a job with Sport Hawke’s Bay.
Casey, who was capped with the Diploma of Recreation and Sport, liaises with Te Kohanga Reo in advising on and supporting the Active Movement and Healthy Heart Award programmes.
From Waiohiki, he is one of seven EIT graduates or students employed by the local regional sports trust.
Other Sport Hawke’s Bay staff who have studied at or are graduates of EIT are Suzanne Smith (doing two papers to complete her Diploma of Recreation and Sport), Tina Arlidge (Bachelor of Recreation and Sport), Lisa Penhall (Bachelor of Therapeutic Recreation), Daniel Evans (Diploma of Recreation and Sport), Keri Gardiner (Bachelor of Recreation and Sport) and Aayden Clarke (Bachelor of Business Studies).
Sport Hawke’s Bay chief executive Colin Stone says EIT has worked hard over the years to ensure its programmes are relevant to the sport and active recreation sector.
“This is certainly proving of benefit with the growing calibre of recreation and sport degree and diploma students who have an array of skill sets that appeal to our organisation and the vast scope that the sector covers.”
Casey, who worked nine years in Te Kohanga Reo coordinating community activities and organising youth to participate in touch rugby and other inter-marae sports, contemplated doing EIT’s diploma programme for some time.
“I wanted to encourage people and Māori in particular to pursue healthier lifestyles. My family and community helped steer me towards this career path,” he says of the job he started a month ago at Sport Hawke’s Bay.
Excited to have graduated, the 35-year-old says it was “a long road” getting through his studies.
He welcomed the backing of EIT’s School of Health, Recreation and Sport, fellow students and also EIT support services.
“Now,” he says, “I have a qualification that is paying off in a job I love.”