Graduate Profile

Vinkal Gaur

Vinkal Gaur - Sport & Recreation

Rehabilitation Manager, Activ8

A few years ago Vinkal started reading up on physiology and bio-mechanics to complement his own performance in running, body building and swimming. But that fascination has now led to a career change.

“I have a Master’s degree in Commerce and was an accountant in India, but when I started coaching other runners in 2010, I realised coaching was more natural for me. The students I was coaching had good successes at state and national levels so I looked at how and where to study sport and recreation.

“I was considering two different education providers in New Zealand, including NorthTec. I decided to come to Northland to study because I did not want to live in a big busy city. It’s also cheaper to live here and it has such a nice friendly, small-town atmosphere. It’s easier to make connections in industry as well.

“The Sport and Recreation programme offers students a variety of different outcomes because it touches on so many various things that we could pick what we like and build a career from it.

“I like everything about the programme. The tutors are passionate, they have real industry experience and they know their stuff. It’s a good balance between academic study and hands-on experience. And, it’s actually a lot of fun!

“It’s such a well-designed course. Whangarei is quite small, so connections within the industry can be important, and NorthTec helps you with this. It helps you to create a space where you can go out and meet people and create your own relationships.

“All of our classmates were very supportive of each other. When I was injured, everyone, including the tutor helped and supported me as much as they could.

“As the Rehabilitation Manager at Activ8, I train people one-on-one or in small groups, I teach yoga and am starting to help people achieve their long-distance running goals. Eventually, I would like to get into more competitive coaching, and go on to study biomechanics and physiology of human performance at a PhD level.

“I love being out in the community and in a position to bring about positive change. Social and mental health are very integrated with physical health, I am humbled to be involved in these services and have the qualification to help bring a positive change to some people.

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