Eddy Kuipers has turned his passion for health and fitness into a career.
A former Ruapehu ski patroller, Eddy had just finished a Diploma in Business Studies when he found part-time work at a fitness club in Masterton.
When his employer told him she was a graduate of the University of Otago’s Sports Studies course, Eddy jumped at the chance to learn more.
“You could do industry training type courses, which I think are relatively weak, or you could do polytech type courses, which are in the mid-range and give you skills for the work place, but this one was Otago University and it was going to be academic based,” says Eddy.
“The Diploma in Sports Studies means you can still work in a fitness club but it gives you qualifications for other areas of sport — giving you a much broader spectrum of knowledge.”
As the course is distance-taught, Eddy could continue to work while he studied, and he and his wife, who works in Wellington, would not have to move from their newly-bought homestead.
“I loved the course,” says Eddy. “It covered everything I was interested in. I really liked being in touch with the tutors and other students every couple of weeks over audioconferences.”
Even before Eddy graduated he was promoted to managing the club he’d been working in.
“Once you have done the study and have got the Diploma in Sports Studies, people no longer question you. It helps your credibility and has certainly helped with my confidence to move forwards.”
Years of ski patrol work left Eddy with a lasting love of the great outdoors, and he can see how the university qualification could help him get back out there in the future.
“Sports Studies gives you a lot of scope and creates an amazing foundation to spring off to do all kinds of things. One of these days I might move on to work in outdoor education or recreation — but this time it would be owning my own business.”