Master of Sport, Exercise and Health student
Why do athletes withdraw from competitive sport? That’s the interesting topic Jayson Jooste is investigating for his Master of Sport, Exercise and Health.
“I grew up playing cricket and played competitively as a North Harbour representative, but decided to withdraw towards the end of high school as a result of burnout. Later on, when I was working as a football coach, I also noticed that sport participation at my old high school was desperately low and many of my own athletes were dropping out of the sport. I wanted to find out why.
“I felt even more encouraged to study competitive sport withdrawal when I ran into some old teammates and found out that they were also no longer playing competitive sport. Some had similar reasons to me, while others were completely different. This made me realise that sport withdrawal tends to be quite personal and surprisingly complex. At the time there weren’t many studies that focused on this topic, and I thought I could use my master’s degree to go out there and find out why youth are withdrawing from competitive sport.”
Jayson’s research is supervised by Dr Michael Naylor and Adrian Farnham from AUT’s School of Sport and Recreation.
The right decision
Deciding to come to AUT for postgraduate study was an easy decision for Jayson who previously completed a degree in sport and fitness at another tertiary institute.
“I wanted to gain more knowledge in strength and conditioning, athlete development and sport participation. This led me to the Master of Sport, Exercise and Health. I was aware of AUT’s reputation for academic excellence and producing successful students, and knew that I’d be able to do courses across different specialisations as well as researching my topic of interest.
“AUT has a drive for academic success, and this has been evident among the lecturers I’ve met and worked with. The academic staff have been exceedingly devoted to making sure that I have a positive learning experience at AUT.”
Meeting people from different backgrounds has been one of the highlights of his time at AUT.
“Due to AUT being ranked top in New Zealand for international outlook, there are thousands of international students at the university. I’ve enjoyed meeting students from so many diverse cultures. This was especially easy while studying a sports degree as it allowed me to enrol in various courses and pathways, which created opportunities for me to get to know new people.”
Advice for other students
Expecting to complete his studies at the end of 2021, Jayson has some great advice for other students.
“Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Try learning something new because you never know, it could be your new passion or something you’re naturally good at. Learning at university can get difficult, so it’s important that you stay disciplined and never be afraid to ask for help. Speak your mind and question everything.”
He wouldn’t hesitate to recommend AUT’s sport and recreation programmes to other students.
“As a sport and recreation student at AUT you make numerous connections with people from different sports. AUT also enables students to build their own future with its flexible study options, and students can learn leadership, coaching, and management skills, which are all essential to be successful in the sport industry.”