Deputy Swim School Manager, Swimsation Swim Schools
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Exercise Science and Nutrition
For Kayla-Anne Lenferna De La Motte learning about sport and exercise nutrition proved to be life-changing.
“My lightbulb moment happened in my second year when I was taking Dr Caryn Zinn’s Sport and Exercise Nutrition course and thought ‘This is awesome!’. I was intrigued, challenged and inspired, and realised I had a love for nutrition and research. This inspired me to change my major to exercise science and nutrition.
“Two of the highlights of my studies were completing my final-year workplace experience at the AUT Human Potential Centre to continue learning about nutrition and research, and being granted a summer studentship to analyse and formulate new ration packs for the New Zealand Defence Force. I also got to co-write an academic journal article about this. That was an incredible experience.”
After completing her Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in August 2020, Kayla-Anne is currently taking six months off from studying, splitting her time between her roles as a deputy swim school manager at Swimsation Swim Schools and as a teaching and research assistant at AUT. However, further study is on the cards and she will return to AUT in 2021 to study a Master of Sport, Exercise and Health, specialising in physical activity and nutrition.
Finding her path
Originally from South Africa, Kayla-Anne at first had a very different career in mind.
“I was studying law for a year in South Africa but realised that sitting behind a desk for 80 hours a week just wasn’t for me.”
Having grown up with a love of sport, she soon realised that she could turn this passion into a career.
“I grew up swimming competitively in South Africa and partaking in every sport my school offered, from field sports like hockey, netball and soccer to athletics and adventure racing. I found that I felt most at home when I was involved with health, movement, nutrition, connection and leadership.
“I went searching for a degree that would allow me to explore this passion in an unrestricted way. The Bachelor of Sport and Recreation was the answer.”
A university for change makers and innovators
She would highly recommend AUT’s Bachelor of Sport and Recreation to others, Kayla-Anne says.
“I loved that the first year was broad and enabled me to explore all of the majors. I also liked that I was able to change my mind about my majors – which I did more than once – and that the amazing support staff were so helpful. I found that the lectures were interactive and that there was always opportunity for inquisitive students to critically discuss a subject and challenge the status quo. Above all, I love that AUT is a university for change makers and innovators that don’t follow the crowd.”
For Kayla-Anne, the practical components of the degree were the highlight of her bachelor’s degree.
“I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the content applied in real-life situations. I didn’t have to question how the content I learned would be useful; I could see it in real time. This applied to the assessments, the workshops and the workplace experience. Each of these gave me invaluable insight into the sport and recreation industry, put my knowledge to the test and helped me decide on my path.”