When you’re a top-ranked sportsman with Olympic aspirations, it’s a huge help to have the backing of your tertiary study provider.
Tayler Reid, who has a hat-trick of New Zealand under 19 triathlon titles to his name, is studying the New Zealand Diploma in Business at EIT Tairāwhiti.
It’s a big juggle for the 18-year-old, whose training schedule is enough to keep most people in full-time work – he trains, sometimes starting at 5am, at least twice a day, seven days a week. That includes spending at least seven hours on a bike, swimming around 30 kilometres and running up to 70 kilometres.
Tayler says the understanding from his lecturers about managing both of his commitments is a big help.
“I had both the national champs and a test the same week, and my lecturers gave me an extension so I could focus on my race and then my test – that was a really big help,” says Reid, who is on a Prime Minister’s Scholarship at EIT.
“Everyone tells me you can’t do sport forever,” says the teen who is on the New Zealand talent squad for tri, which feeds into the high performance programme. “If I get a career-ending injury tomorrow, I need to do something else.” While he’s not sure what that “something else” will be, he figures the Diploma in Business offers a foundation that could be put to use in a lot of fields.
“I thought this would give me options,” says Reid, who, while not heading offshore as much this year, will still travel to Japan for two races, the Gold Coast for training, to Canada to race and then to the World Champs in Chicago.
At the World Champs, he will line up for the third time to race the 750m swim, 20km bike and 5k run. “I was a bit disappointed with my last go at worlds, so hopefully, this will produce a really good result,” says Reid. “The sport is getting so much faster, it’s tough because some of the competitors are actually the fastest runners in their respective countries.”