Braityn Callaghan

Braityn Callaghan

Master of Sport, Exercise and Health in Sport Leadership and Management
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Sport and Exercise Science

Tainui, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Porou

What do youth basketball coaches know about common injuries and injury prevention? That’s the interesting topic Braityn Callaghan explored for her Master of Sport, Exercise and Health.

“My research examines the current state of coach knowledge and attitudes towards sport injury prevention in New Zealand secondary school basketball. Injury prevention is an important issue in youth sport as there is a high number of injuries reported to ACC, specifically by basketball players within the Auckland region. Coaches play a key role in facilitating injury prevention strategies in youth sport, and they’re more likely to adopt injury prevention strategies if they have greater levels of injury-related knowledge and a positive attitude towards injury prevention.

“There’s limited research on youth basketball in New Zealand. My research could help to make a difference to how youth basketball coaches in New Zealand and internationally are educated about common injuries and key injury prevention strategies, including better access to and awareness of various types of effective injury prevention resources. This will likely increase coaches’ level of injury-related knowledge and help them develop a positive attitude; thus preventing common injuries and minimizing overall injury risk.”

Braityn’s master’s degree research was supervised by Associate Professor Chris Whatman and Dr Patricia Lucas from AUT’s School of Sport and Recreation.

More than the theory
Deciding to come to AUT for her studies was easy, says Braityn who graduated with her Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in 2019 and has just completed her Master of Sport, Exercise and Health with Merit.

“I initially chose to study at AUT because of the university’s excellent academic reputation and industry connections. Throughout my bachelor’s degree, I had a very positive experience learning from, and collaborating with, the skilled and supportive staff within the AUT School of Sport and Recreation. That was the primary reason I chose to continue into postgraduate study at AUT.”

The integration of theoretical and practical learning was one of the highlights of studying sport and recreation at AUT.

“I found that putting theory into practice during workshops was always exciting, especially at AUT Millennium, and it helped me learn more effectively by ‘doing’ and ‘seeing’ what I heard in a lecture or read in a research article.”

Finding her passion
Braityn says she had a bit of a lightbulb moment towards the end of her Bachelor of Sport and Recreation when she realised that she wanted to learn more about sport management.

“I had specialised in sport and exercise science throughout my bachelor’s degree, but my workplace experience involved more management-based activities. While I always had a keen interest in injury prevention and working with youth athletes in a practical training setting, I noticed throughout my placements that injury prevention and the implementation of key injury prevention strategies was not a prioritised area, despite the negative consequences common injuries can have on youth athletes.

“After this experience, I became more interested in performance programme management, and the delivery and education of key injury prevention strategies that sport organisations, coaches and teams should be using to help prevent and reduce the risk of common or serious sporting injuries.”

This was a key reason she decided to enrol in the Master of Sport, Exercise and Health.

“I knew the programme would help advance my knowledge and develop my interests in the area of sport management and leadership, and being able to complete the programme in as little as a year was appealing. The advanced design of the courses and the insightful connections with the academic staff were invaluable to the proactive way I want to contribute to the sport and recreation industry in the future.”

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