Isabel Neal

Isabel Neal

3rd-year student, Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Exercise Science and Nutrition & Sport and Exercise Science

Moving to Auckland from Nelson to study AUT’s Bachelor of Sport and Recreation was an easy decision for Isabel Neal who is one of the country’s most promising 400-metre sprinters.

“I really liked the look of AUT’s sport degree as I thought the content would be very relevant to me as an athlete. Due to athletics I needed to be up in Auckland, and I knew that AUT was very supportive and accommodating of student athletes.

“Juggling travelling and training with studying can be stressful, however communicating with my lecturers and the athlete support hub has allowed me to see success in both areas. Some of my recent achievements as an athlete include winning the 400m at the 2022 Australian champs in Sydney back in April, and being the New Zealand 400m silver medallist and 4x400m champion as well as the Oceania 400m silver medallist and 4x400m Oceania champion.”

She wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Bachelor of Sport and Recreation to other students.

“It’s a fantastic degree! There are so many amazing learning opportunities throughout the degree and the placement experiences provide you with a number of important life and career skills prior to entering the workplace.”

Feeling inspired
She has had plenty of highlights throughout her time at AUT so far, says Isabel whose studies are supported by an AUT Significant Student Scholarship.

“I really enjoy the science side of the degree, and love the exercise and physiology, applied anatomy and sports biomechanics courses. I like learning the content and seeing it in action through my sport. I’ve also enjoyed the variation between lectures and hand-on laboratory classes where we can use different equipment, and learn to understand physiological responses by experiencing them ourselves.”

She already knows what her next step will be.

“I’m looking to come back to AUT next year and complete a Master of Physiotherapy Practice.”

Advice for other students
Now in the third year of her degree, Isabel has some great advice for other students.

“Make sure you choose a degree that you’re passionate about. This will make the study and effort you put in worthwhile and enjoyable.”

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, she adds.

“Set yourself goals to maintain your focus and provide you with motivation, and ask for help. The AUT staff are extremely supportive and want you to succeed.”

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