Three Hawke’s Bay’s Magpies have more in common than working out at the gym or scrumming down on a rugby field.
Two in the pictured line-up, (from left) hooker Jorian Tangaere and prop Jason Long, are about to graduate while Jarvy Aoake (right), who also plays prop, expects to complete his degree this year.
Not only do the trio have EIT study in common, they also attended the same Bachelor of Recreation and Sport classes.
Of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou descent, Jorian gained his first degree, a Bachelor of Arts (Māori), in 2013. Achieving that milestone in just half the usual time, he was honoured with a He Maimai Aroha Award for excellence and commitment to te reo Māori in his final year at EIT’s Te Ūranga Waka.
The seasoned graduate heard about the opportunity to gain a sports scholarship to study at EIT while playing club/rep rugby in 2013. He joined the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Academy in 2014 during his second year of Recreation and Sport studies.
Jorian wanted to stay in Hawke’s Bay, so he says “it’s been good to learn te reo here, and to learn more about Ngāti Kahungunu was a bonus.”
His post-rugby playing plan is to teach PE and Māori and also to travel.
Jason will be capped this week with two EIT degrees – a Bachelor of Business Studies as well as the Bachelor of Recreation and Sport.
“It was good to be able to study both concurrently,” he says, “to have that variety. It wasn’t just learning about sport or business.”
Recently employed by the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union, he finds he’s able to draw on what he learnt on both degree programmes in combining the role of clubs and schools officer with that of rugby development officer.
“I initially planned to study just the Bachelor of Recreation and Sport but I wanted to give myself more options when I finished at EIT, which is why I studied the Bachelor of Business Studies as well.”
Rugby is by no means Jason’s only sporting passion. He also enjoys race speedway and is ranked second in New Zealand.
Jarvy Aoake has combined tertiary study and work, although 2013 was a full-time study year at EIT. Now he’s keen to nail the final two courses to complete his degree.
Like Jason, he finds his learning benefits him in his role as rugby development officer for the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union, a position he’s had since before he started playing for the Magpies.
“I got the job out of an industry cooperative practicum,” he says of a compulsory degree course.
“I’ve found it hard, wanting to work, play rugby and study. I love my job but it has meant that it’s taking me longer to finish my degree.”
Jarvy, whose whakapapa is Ngāti Raukawa, has always wanted to work in the sports sector. EIT study, he says, has helped him achieve just that.
He is looking forward to celebrating graduation next year, when the public will see him parade in the traditional mortar board and gown rather than black and white Magpies strip.