Stephen Vanderpeet has his mum to thank for his future career direction.
The third-year Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Applied Science learner says it was his mother who found out about the programme.
However, given Stephen enjoys sports and exercise and hails from a sporty family in the Hawke’s Bay, he has found his learning path both logical and stimulating.
“The first year gave me a broad range of knowledge and I was able to hone in a bit more in my second year. And now I’m really focusing on what I want to do in the future.
“I hope to graduate at the end of this year, then do a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science, specialising in Performance Analysis. And after that, I’ll look to do my Master of Applied Science, again in Performance Analysis.
“I am also looking to also do a Master of Teaching and Learning (elsewhere) after all my analysis studies.”
As part of his Otago Polytechnic studies, Stephen has done a range of placements, all of which he has enjoyed.
“You have to get a minimum of 130 hours of placements, so I’ve done some work with rugby clubs, doing performance analysis, recording training.
“I also do wheelchair basketball with Parafed Otago. I’m managing a team that’s going to a tournament in late July.
“And I’ve been working with a group of girls from St Hilda’s, helping them with their conditioning – stuff such as strength, fitness and agility -- across a range of different sports.”
Yet the opportunities haven’t been limited to New Zealand courts, gyms and fields, either.
In the second year of his degree, Stephen and two other learners at Otago Polytechnic’s Institute of Sport & Adventure travelled to India with Senior Lecturer Kim Park.
Stephen spent time at the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy in Mumbai, teaching junior and senior players training techniques and sport-specific skills alongside students from Flinders University, Adelaide.
“I got a grant from Otago Polytechnic’s Education Foundation which helped offset costs.
“It was an amazing experience. It was so busy. I was there for four weeks and was based in Mumbai and New Delhi. It showed me just how crazy India is about cricket. I’m glad I did it.”