Pacific Community Coordinator, Sport Waitakere
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation
Chantelle Huch loves making a difference to her community through her role as a Pacific community coordinator at Sport Waitakere.
“I’m most proud of being able to serve my community by finding avenues to create more affordable and engaging opportunities for the Pacific community in West Auckland to participate in physical activity.
“What I love most about my career is that I get to work not only for my community, but with my community. Working together and growing together is what I enjoy most.”
Making an impact
Working on projects that support the Pacific community was also the highlight of her studies at AUT, Chantelle says.
“My highlight would definitely be the workplace experience in the final year of my Bachelor of Sport and Recreation. I was lucky enough to work with NZ Rugby for a year. I was blessed to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing organisation in the sport sector. They helped my growth and learning in my degree, and provided me with great opportunities to use my skills to make an impact.
“Together with my supervisor, I worked on a project on the participation of Pacific Island people in non-playing roles in rugby, including refereeing, coaching or management. For this research project, I explored the reasons why the number of Pacific people in such roles was much lower compared to other groups. I was privileged to work alongside Keven Mealamu to carry out focus groups within the rugby community to help us with our research.”
Her final-year project didn’t just leave a lasting impression on Chantelle; it also inspired the launch of the Navigating Two Worlds programme. A collaboration between the AUT Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), New Zealand Rugby and Auckland Rugby, Navigating Two Worlds is a multi-year research project focusing on leadership development and mentoring for non-playing rugby roles.
More than the theory
It’s the practical approach that first attracted Chantelle to AUT.
“I chose to study AUT’s Bachelor of Sport and Recreation because it offered the opportunity for students to apply their learnings through the workplace experience that is part of the sport degree. This style of learning is how I learn best. Being able to physically go out and put theory into action was what caught my attention.”
She would highly recommend the AUT sport programme to others, Chantelle says.
“It’s a programme that provides you with many opportunities to further your learning and growth in the sector. To be able to apply your learnings through workplace experience is something that will forever be of value to me and my journey in the sector, and I know these opportunities will also be a huge benefit to so many others.”