“I feel incredibly blessed to be given an opportunity to study for free,” says Felicity Powdrell after being awarded a Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union EIT scholarship for the second time in a row. “It means I’m able to be debt free once I finish study, which will be really useful if I travel overseas with sport.”
Felicity plays for the HB Tuis and is in her second year of studying a Bachelor of Recreation and Sport. The other four EIT scholarship recipients are Kainu Kereru-Symes (Magpies), Donovan Mataira (Magpie Academy), Liam Udy Johns (Magpie Academy) and Trent Hape (Magpie Academy).
Kianu says his scholarship and studying at EIT allows him to focus on living out his dream to play for the Hawke’s Bay Magpies, gaining his degree, all while living at home.
Donovan also mentions that it means a lot to be a scholarship recipient, “It takes a bit of financial stress off my shoulders. Studying at EIT is quite fun and a lot different to high school and I thoroughly enjoy it.”
Felicity highlights the understanding and leniency of the lecturers when it comes to sporting commitments. “I am grateful for the support I receive, I feel like EIT staff personally care about their student’s wellbeing, not just their academic results,” she says.
Further Magpie Academy members Liam and Trent talk about how studying challenges them to leave their comfort zone and how much the lecturers support them to overcome certain difficulties.
The partnership between EIT and the HBRFU has seen rugby players supported through their tertiary studies, and EIT’s Recreation and Sport team provides support to the HBRFU Academy squad. It has given many sports talents the support to carry on with their sports career while gaining a qualification for after their sport career.