Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa Graduate, Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa & New Zealand Rugby League
Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Coaching & Health and Physical Education
He is proud to be a part of the sought-after graduate programme at Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa, says Yvaan Hapuku-Lambert who completed a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation in Coaching & Health and Physical Education.
“The Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa graduate programme is a paid, two-year fixed term programme, initially based in Wellington with the opportunity to gain experience across the country. The programme helps develop talented future leaders within the play, active recreation and sport sector. It’s a unique opportunity to help you identify where you want to develop your potential, build professional relationships and work alongside leaders in the sector.
“With over 120 applicants for only two or three positions, it definitely was huge to be offered this role. I was based in Wellington for my first year with Sport New Zealand and am now based in Auckland on a six-month placement with New Zealand Rugby League. It has been such an eye-opening experience and opportunity, and has helped accelerate my development to support my future ambitions in the sector.”
Having the opportunity to develop, grow and learn from experts within the sport sector is what he enjoys most.
“Being able to gain experience through working on multiple different projects and interacting with our partners has provided me with invaluable tools that will help me as I move forward in my career. Being with Sport New Zealand gives me an opportunity to see how we support communities and organisations to create positive and impactful change for our tamariki and rangatahi through play, active recreation and sport.“
The right choice
Yvaan came to AUT because he had heard great things about AUT’s Bachelor of Sport and Recreation from the career advisor at his high school. It’s a decision he hasn’t regretted.
“I had so many moments during my time at AUT that sparked my passion. The connections I made with my peers and my lecturers were among the highlights of my time at university. Being surrounded by likeminded people who are passionate about sport and physical activity made lectures and workshops so enjoyable.
“But the moment that really solidified my passion was during my workplace experience with Northcote Intermediate School. The students went from learning a completely new sport, Ki o Rahi, to wanting to play all the time. Seeing the students’ growth and enjoyment, and knowing I played a part in it, highlighted to me why I want to work in this sector.”
He loved the way classes were set up, says Yvaan who received a KIWA undergraduate scholarship to support his studies and was a student ambassador in his last two years at AUT.
“We would learn the theory in class but could then apply our learnings outside of the classroom in real environments and situations. We did this through workshops in the gym or while out in our placement gaining work experience. It was great to write and talk about a topic, but the real learning was from actually seeing it in action and applying it yourself outside of the classroom.”
Advice for other students
Yvaan’s advice for other students is simple: take advantage of the opportunities on offer.
“Always seek opportunities that can further support your growth – every opportunity provides a chance to learn and gain experience. Never underestimate how important your lived experience can be, and always seek opportunities that can help get your name out there. The industry is definitely a people industry so make the most of networking and building relationships.”
There’s plenty of support at AUT if you need it, he adds.
“Make the most of your lecturers and the support on offer at AUT. The lecturers have a wealth of knowledge and are always willing to help if you’re willing to reach out and put in the work.”