Student-athletes from across Massey’s three campuses and its distance programme are included in a variety of sports – including athletics, canoeing, cycling, football, hockey, rowing, sailing, swimming and tennis.
At the Beijing Games, 23 of the 185 New Zealand athletes were Massey students. Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says the fact that athlete numbers have more than doubled for London is testament to Massey’s commitment to high-performance sport.
“Supporting athletes as they strive for both sporting and academic achievement is a key part of Massey’s strategy,” he says. “Our distance learning programme allows athletes to continue their studies wherever they may be in the world, while our Academy of Sport provides them with the tools they need to succeed on the world stage.”
Last year Massey was the first New Zealand university to sign up to a new Athlete Friendly Tertiary Network set up by High Performance Sport New Zealand. The network is made up of tertiary institutions that agree to adopt a set of guiding principles to support New Zealand’s high performance athletes to combine their sporting and academic aspirations.
That on-going commitment to high-performance sport has seen the University attract New Zealand’s leading talent, including world champion rowers Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, world champion kayaker Lisa Carrington, and a host of others.
Mr Bond, who graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies this year, says Massey’s flexibility was what attracted him to the University, after starting out at Otago. “I was required to relocate to Cambridge for rowing, and if I wanted to continue studying I had the option to go to Waikato or study extramurally through Massey, and I chose that option purely for its ease. Our training times are not flexible and lecture times are not flexible so that doesn’t work too well so that was my principal reason for going to Massey.”
As well as the 53 student-athletes competing in London, a number of graduates are involved in venue management, and Professor Gary Hermansson is the New Zealand team’s psychologist in what will be his eighth consecutive Olympic of Commonwealth Games.
You can follow their progress, read insight and commentary from the University’s academic staff, and watch video content at Massey’s dedicated Olympics page.
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