Chris Treacher is about to launch into the third and final year of his Bachelor of Recreation and Sport degree at EIT.
The 41-year-old decided to enrol at EIT after he had missed out on different jobs that he had applied for. “I had the practical experience and the skills. However, that missing piece of paper, a formal qualification, always stopped me,” Chris says. “I just needed to do it to be able to get where I eventually want to be.” Chris says, the overall goal is to become a high performance strength and conditioning coach and to work internationally.
In 1997 Chris joined the navy where he achieved basic qualifications to work as a physical trainer. He travelled around the Pacific and also represented the navy in volleyball, basketball and rugby league competitions.
Once settled back in Hawke’s Bay he started his own health and fitness business “Aspire 2 Inspire”. This was in 2014. As a personal trainer, mentor and motivational speaker Chris is working with schools, Councils, the Māori and Pasifika trades training initiative Te Ara o Tākitimu, Basketball and Cricket Hawke’s Bay, just to name a few.
For Chris, last year has been a year to remember. In April he won the national title with the Hawke’s Bay American flag football team. Later in the year, he was nominated to represent EIT at the NZ Exercise Industry Awards held in Auckland and took away the Student of the Year Award outdoing other high calibre students.
All of this while acing his exams, working full-time and juggling family duties; Chris has a 13-year-old son and nine-year-old twin daughters. Like so many other couples who share this kind of second-chance study experience, Chris has a highly supportive wife and family.
Being the oldest in his class was never an issue. “We are just an awesome group,” he says. One of the biggest challenges in the beginning was the academic writing but he got the hang of it after a while. The biomechanics, nutrition and psychology courses were his favourites, and he holds his lecturers in high regards.
For Chris the degree is more than just a way to enhance his job prospects, it also means the chance to give his family more opportunities and to go places. After graduation he will take his family on an extended trip overseas. Thinking of his son’s future, who aims to become a professional basketball player, Chris could also imagine dropping anchor in the States, as well as Australia and Hong Kong.
“I love to teach too, so one day I might even look at lecturing.” For Chris the formula for success is a simple one. “You just have to know why you are doing what you are doing.”