Otago rugby league representative, Manassah Kutia, started his academic studies at a university before deciding it wasn’t the right learning environment for him.
But he still wanted to get a degree, so he looked to Otago Polytechnic’s Institute of Sport and Adventure to see what it could offer him.
“I have always been interested in health, fitness and looking after myself, and wanted to help others adopt healthier lifestyles so they can live longer, more productive lives,” explains Manassah.
He enrolled in the Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Activity, Health and Wellness), and welcomed the Polytechnic’s commitment to experiential learning.
“I really liked the fact that it wasn’t just theory, but also a lot of practical work,” he recalls. “The learning environment was great and the lecturers were very helpful.”
As a Māori student, Manassah felt well-supported by the Polytechnic.
“Many opportunities are given to Māori students to help us succeed and aim high in life,” he says. “It’s up to the individual to take those opportunities and make the most of them.”
Since graduating, Manassah is enjoying his full-time role at Moana House in Dunedin, a residential therapeutic community that offers support and treatment to male offenders and men with drug and alcohol addictions.