Graduate Profile

Shawni Paniona – Energizer, Sport Northland
Shawni Paniona (Graduate), Anna Markwick(Employer/Graduate), April Warwick(Graduate)

Shawni Paniona (Graduate), Anna Markwick(Employer/Graduate), April Warwick(Graduate)

Shawni Paniona - Sport and Recreation

Energizer, Sport Northland

“During my cooperative placement for the Bachelor in Sport and Recreation programme, I managed to attain part-time employment before I graduated from my degree. I was stuck on ideas for my co-operative which, like work experience, prepares you for what to expect in a work situation and how you can best apply your knowledge.”

“When I started my co-operative placement with Sport Northland I had never heard of Green Prescription. I had to increase my knowledge and understanding on the programme as well as the organization as a whole.”

“I’ve always been a very shy person and coming here was initially overwhelming and intimidating for me. Studying gave me the confidence to apply the skills and information I had acquired into the workplace environment.”

“The best part about studying for me was the flexibility. It allowed me to have a year off when I had my boy. Then once I was ready, I was able to continue my degree through part-time study, which better suited my circumstances.”

“In August 2016 and only halfway through my studies, a part-time job came up in Green Prescription which I was fortunate to have secured. Within a month this had progressed into a full-time role!”

“After a year in Green Prescription I then moved onto my current role as an Energizer in 2017.  Energize is an initiative working primarily with decile 1-4 primary and intermediate schools to improve children’s physical activity and nutrition, and ultimately to improve their overall health, while helping schools achieve their education outcomes.”

“My decision to switch to a department that better reflected my passion and why in life has a lot to do with my upbringing. Growing up around multiple adverse influences was very challenging in my youth. What really empowered me through this time were the positive values displayed by role models that crossed my path during my schooling days. They really impacted on my decisions and where I wanted to take myself later in life and I honestly believe that I wouldn’t have taken this path to where I am now if it wasn’t for these people. I also want to be this role model and example to any youth out there in hopes that I may also help them with their paths for future!”


Employer of April Warwick and Shawni Paniona

Anna Markwick – Community Sport Manager, Sport Northland

“I have been with Sport Northland for 22 years and completed the Degree in Sport and Recreation training through NorthTec. Everything I learnt in my training, I was able to implement and utilise at my work. I was also able to continue to work full time and choose papers and updates while working with this organisation.”

“As Community Support Manager, my role covers Green Prescription, He Oranga Poutama (Stairway to Well-being), plus working with schools, within the community, and at a regional level. Employing people suited to our organisation depends on a number of factors but educational learning is becoming more of a pre-requisites. In the 22 years I’ve been at Sport Northland, there’s been a shift from employing people solely with experience, to wanting people with educational qualifications who understand the science behind what they do.”

“We’re seeing an increase too in the need for our services as people either come back home to the north or move up here from Auckland or other regions. As the demand increases, we’re struggling to get enough people with the required qualifications, and the NorthTec Diploma in Sport and Recreation, plus the degree with AUT but through NorthTec, can provide those qualifications. People under-estimate the quality of NorthTec training.”


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