Strength and Conditioning Coach, High Performance Sport New Zealand / Owner, Next Level Netball
Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Sport and Exercise
Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Sport and Exercise Science
Helping athletes achieve their goals is what she loves most about her career as a strength and conditioning coach, says sport and recreation alumna Dr Chloe McKenzie.
“I’m working with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ) as a strength and conditioning coach, which includes working with the Northern Stars netball franchise. I also have my own business, Next Level Netball, which provides strength and conditioning services to netball teams and individual players in secondary schools.
“I love working with athletes and helping them get to where they want to be. The most rewarding part about the job is seeing the athletes I’m working with achieve their goals and improve on something they’ve been working towards.”
Pursuing her passion
She has always had a love for sport, says Chloe whose passion for sport and recreation saw her take on study from undergraduate level all the way up to a PhD.
“I was involved in many different sports growing up, and I decided to follow that passion and make a career out of it. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in sports, and I enrolled at AUT because it was the best choice for me to do so. AUT is a modern, forward-thinking university with a strong emphasis on integrating theory with practice and strong connections with the sports industry.
“Throughout my studies, I’ve enjoyed building my network, and making connections with people within the sports industry, particularly in strength and conditioning. One of the highlights for me was my third-year workplace experience, which I completed with a national sporting organisation. It opened up many doors for me. I’m proud of the growth and development, both personally and professionally, throughout my time with AUT.”
When it was time to decide where to do postgraduate study, her positive experiences throughout her undergraduate degree made it easy for Chloe to remain at AUT.
“Because of my positive experiences and the opportunities AUT provided, I never looked elsewhere to continue my studies. I wanted to pursue a career as a strength and conditioning coach, and by doing postgraduate study I was able to get a deeper understanding of the science, evidence-based practice, and theory behind strength and conditioning. I loved that I was able to continue working in the industry while completing my postgraduate study.”
Helping minimise netball injuries
For her PhD research, Chloe investigated the NetballSmart Dynamic Warm-up; a topic close to her own heart.
“I chose this topic due to my involvement in netball as a strength and conditioning coach, and my love for the game. Netball is a popular, physically demanding female sport with a high risk of lower limb injury, particularly to the ankle and knee. In my role as a strength and conditioning coach, I see first-hand the high numbers of injuries that can result from playing netball.
“Netball New Zealand has recently introduced the NetballSmart Dynamic Warm-up, and my research aimed to determine if this recently developed approach could improve physical performance measures in female youth netball players. I hope that my research can assist with the implementation of the programme, and furthermore contribute to the improvement of physical performance profile in youth athletes.”
Chloe’s research was supervised by Associate Professor Chris Whatman and Dr Matt Brughelli from AUT’s School of Sport and Recreation.