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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Ara Institute of Canterbury

Ollie Grant, an Ara student completing a Bachelor of Applied Science degree (BAppSci) with a  Sport & Exercise specialization, has been doing work described as “fantastic” in association with the Christchurch Netball Centre (CNC) while completing the practical component of his course.

Megan Harlick, Ollie’s tutor within the BAppSci programme, was responsible for managing the feedback on his practicum. Ms. Harlick’s academic work in general focuses on the development and delivery of courses within the B.App Sci programme, including study of sport, exercise and health psychology as well as professional theory and practice.

Ollie’s practicum got him involved with the CNC’s Summer Camp’ in January, and subsequently with the development of a strength and conditioning ( S&C) programme to complement the Under 14/15 and Under 17/19 age groups’ Emerging Athlete Programme, run by CNC throughout February and March.

Ollie’s project incorporated aspects of pre- and post- testing, delivery of weekly sessions and a re-working of the ‘NetballSmart’ Dynamic Warm-up process.

“The whole running of the program allowed me to experience first-hand the requirements these athletes needed with involvement in their sport. This allowed me to programme effectively to the needs of the athletes, week to week, and I felt like I able to give CNC something to work with moving forward with the resource” he comments.

Ms. Harlick adds that “One of the project aims was to increase participant engagement. Despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, Ollie went on to develop a comprehensive resource for CNC. I don’t know if I have ever sat in a feedback session before that was so incredibly positive.  They had undertaken a thorough review of participants and staff and it was overwhelmingly positive.”

From CNC’s perspective, the experience was equally beneficial. Kelly Bodger, Game Development Officer at Christchurch Netball, says “Ollie’s professionalism, his ability to develop rapport with the participants, his level of engagement with staff, his innovative and considered approach to the sessions, his willingness to ‘learn’ netball and his strong communication skills meant that the sessions he ran were outstanding.”

“We are going to enter into discussions with Ollie to look at contracting him in the future and refer him to clubs who are looking for S&C support.  In terms of a future relationship with Ara – we are really keen to work with the Institute in the future and develop new opportunities for practicum students.”

James Jowsey, Manager of Allied Health, is very pleased with this outcome. “It’s incredibly satisfying to hear just how positive CNC was in regards to our Practicum process; the way it’s structured, the support we offer our students and the high quality of Ollie himself as a student, both in terms of his content knowledge but also of his grasp of so-called ‘soft’ skills. Enhancing key transferable skills is a clear priority at Ara, as we aim to provide learners with a flexible foundation of skills that will ensure their success through career changes, life stages and future study.”