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EIT Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) student enjoys juggling study and sports career

October 19, 2022

EIT student Hannah Hunt was a member of the New Zealand U21 Canoe Polo team, the Junior Paddle Ferns, that won the Under 21 Canoe Polo World Championships in France earlier this year. She is pictured with the trophy.

Hannah Hunt has had a busy year – not only has she started EIT’s Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) on both a Year 13 and Sports scholarship, but she has also won a World Championship in Canoe Polo.

Hannah, 19, grew up in Hawke’s Bay, attending Mahora Primary and Hastings Intermediate, before going to Karamu High School. It was there that she developed her love for Canoe Polo and also realised that she wanted to be a primary schoolteacher.

Each year EIT offers a number of scholarships to potential students. Last year, Hannah was awarded the Year-13 Scholarship, which covers one year of tuition fees including any course related costs which have been approved to be included as part of the scholarship. When combined with the Government Fees Free initiative, Year 13 Scholarship recipients are studying fees-free for the first two years of their degree. For her Canoe Polo success, Hannah was also awarded the Sport Hawke’s Bay – EIT Sports Scholarships for 2022, which is aimed at assisting top sports performers to train and study in the region.

This made the decision to study at EIT easy for Hannah.

“I think that the EIT teaching degree, being hands on and practical, was definitely a selling point for me. And the fact that I could live at home in Hawke’s Bay and still play canoe polo at my local club while I study and not have to spend so much.”

“The Under 21 Canoe Polo World Championships was always on the table this year and I did not want to make a commitment to going away to university with that being my focus.”

It has resulted in a busy year for Hannah with an intensive first year which has seen her spending two days per week at EIT’s Partnership School, Frimley School. However, the most exciting part of her year has been her victory; as part of the New Zealand U21 Canoe Polo team, the Junior Paddle Ferns; at the world championships in France earlier this year.

The previous championships in 2020 had been cancelled because of COVID-19.

“ I was named as a non-travelling reserve for that, so it was quite cool to be named this as a member of the team that would actually get to play. It was fantastic that we were able to win. Next time won’t be easy because we will have a target on our backs.”

At just 19, there is every possibility that Hannah will once again make the Junior Paddle Ferns for the world championships. She also plans to travel overseas to Europe where Canoe Polo is very popular, and she would have opportunities to develop in her sport.

However, for now she is focussed on her Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) through EIT and has no hesitation in recommending the qualification.

“What I like about it is that you learn pretty quickly whether you’re going to love it or hate it because you are in a classroom. It is also such a supportive learning environment where you’re always learning whether it’s the theory or the practical side,” says Hannah.

Associate Professor Emily Nelson, the Programme Coordinator for EIT’s Bachelor of Teaching Primary, says: “We were very happy to support Hannah to attend the World Champs while she studies her Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) with us, as national selection is a great honour.”

“It’s also great for children to have teachers who role model sporting excellence and the perseverance and determination to succeed on the world stage.”