Student Profile

Photo of Kate Skerten

Kate Skerten - Sport and Recreation

“Although my Mum was a physiotherapist, and keeping active was a normal part of life for our family, it wasn’t until I went to St Peter’s College in Cambridge that my spark for this as a career really got lit. I was exposed to a broader range of sports and spent more time in a gym environment I then studied Sport and Recreation (Personal Training) to level 5 at Otago Polytech but returned to Northland and was reassessing my direction.”

“In the meantime, I was doing some part time work running fitness classes and doing some voluntary work when my employer encouraged me to upskill to level 7 to become more employable. So I signed on here and I love the small classes and how hands-on our learning is. We have practical workshops with guest speakers, we do personal training, we learn about sports performance, strength and conditioning, sports science, coaching, and nutrition. We also had the opportunity to have workshops with Turbo Touch, Northland Cricket, Far North CrossFit, Manaia Fitness, and we have work placements.”

“Part of our curriculum involves volunteering at community events and we recently helped out with the Lions Tour and ran a Turbo Touch tournament in schools. We’re also in partnership with Sports Northland programmes so we can help with things like the Weetbix Triathlon and the Run/Walk series. These activities all give us experience and build confidence in our ability to apply what we learn.”

“The learning process is a challenge for me because I’ve got dysgraphia which means I have poor comprehension and have trouble getting my ideas across in a systematic order, so the tutors and the student support team have really supported me with this.”

“As students we’re constantly working in small groups doing presentations, projects, or group fitness so the interpersonal level is high and we have a synergy like a family. I’m surprised at how much growth, knowledge and life experience I’ve gained through the course, and at how broad the course is. I’ve also learned to be adaptable to new ideas because initially I thought I only wanted to do group fitness and personal training but I’m finding I enjoy working with children and youth. I like keeping them engaged and enjoying physical and mental activities.”

“I already volunteer as a youth coach for football and tennis teams, and when I finish the course I’ll either do more work with youth, go into the Police Force, be an outdoor contractor working somewhere like Outward Bound, or do some post-graduate study in sport or teaching.”

“My overarching interest though is in helping people keep physically active from a young age so they can keep mentally healthy. Youth drop-off levels in sport are relatively high now, especially with the use of technology and parents struggling to run children around, and it’s concerning because physical activity is a fundamental part of keeping healthy on every level.”

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