Sport, recreation and exercise science
Sport is a richly satisfying career, where you can make positive changes to people's lives.
We welcome anyone who loves being physically active, wants to teach and inspire others to be physically active and is looking for a career in an industry that affects peoples' lives for the better.
Our team of experienced staff has close links with the Counties Manukau community and regionally through teaching, coaching or their current/past sporting achievements. Our practical grassroots programmes have a strong industry focus, to equip you with the right skills for a rewarding career in sport, recreation, education, fitness or the outdoors.
Our continuous engagement and collaboration with our communities and industry ensures that our curriculum is current, and our students are prepared to start working in the sporting industry.
We pride ourselves on our encouraging environment, which will set you on a positive pathway. By studying with us you'll be personally challenged, learn the value of teamwork, become leaders of young people and see first-hand the impact of sport on community spirit.
As a qualified professional, you can share your passion for sport and exercise in a range of settings. You could coach elite sports people or teams, and there are also opportunities for people passionate about inspiring others to get active and healthy.
“Our tutorials and practicals are small in size. This allows us to get to know you as a person, how you think, what you would like to do, where your career is headed and who your support networks are. Those are the important things that help us value you as a student.
We make sure you enjoy your learning. Our industry is one that is full on. You work hard, you play hard, but you get great value out of what you do and we replicate this in your study at MIT.
Our lecturers get to know you and they care about your journey beyond us because when you’re in a team you’re always a part of the team.”
MIT Head of school
The union was founded in 1955 and currently services a growing, diverse and youthful population in South Auckland. There are currently 7,897 registered players at all levels of the game in the province.
Many of the greatest names in the game have started out with Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union and in 2019 MIT school of sports students will be able to study at the Steelers home ground for a diploma-level qualification.
“New Zealand rugby expertise is in demand internationally. The partnership with Counties allows us to provide a gateway to local players, coaches, volunteers and those who want a sports qualification based around rugby to access those opportunities without leaving the area to study” says MIT lecturer, Fran Serrano, who is also the union’s mental skills coach.
“I chose to study here because I feel more comfortable in this environment. You’re not just a number. Our lecturers know you, they know your name, and they know your lifestyle. It’s like a family here at MIT.
There is lots of variety and opportunities to apply our learning. We are learning in the books, we are learning with technology and we are learning hands-on.
I am also currently interning as a strength and conditioning assistant coach with the Auckland Dream basketball team and interning as a video analyst with Northern Stars. I’m learning heaps and it has been the best experience.”
“I want to become a police officer because I want to give back to my community. I've always wanted to go out there and serve my people.
My advice is just give it a go, you won't know what it's like unless you try. I didn't know what it was going to be like until I enrolled and I've come here and I've enjoyed it. I've learnt a lot and met a lot of new friends.”
“I choose to study sport because it’s always been a passion of mine. It’s been something I’ve done since I was young and it has continued to stick with me. Sports has always helped keep me busy. I’ve made lots of friends through sport and it’s allowed me to travel both in New Zealand and throughout the world.
Studying sport has also helped me with my part-time job as a health and fitness instructor. I’ve learnt how to teach people effectively whether that’s correcting techniques, setting up machines properly or avoiding injuries.”
“MIT school of sport is unique in the way that we run our classes and the opportunities we provide our students. Majority of our staff are involved in the sports industry with contacts in netball, rugby, basketball, soccer and rugby league.
This creates practical opportunities for our students to get involved in these sports. Getting involved means the students are able to learn hands-on skills while growing their networks. The things our students learn can be taken away and applied straight into the job force.”
“I want to set an example to my kids that studying and learning is important. It’s never too late to pursue a different career and do what makes you happy.
Crossing that stage to receive my first degree will be my highest achievement. In a million years, I didn't think I'd be graduating. This is more significant than any of my professional sporting milestones.
The skills I’ve learned here have put me at the front of the pack and I wouldn’t have picked them up anywhere else. It’s not just the technical knowledge but also learning the importance of connecting with people, and how crucial that is to get the best from them.”
“I want to help my family and our help our community by educating them on healthy living and healthy lifestyles. I am excited about the future because now I have the knowledge and I can implement that in a way that’s going to help others.
People expect that they need to be going to the gym but it can be as simple as hanging the washing out or going for a walk. Get active whatever it takes and don’t take the shortcuts.”
"It has been a real honour having the opportunity to work with the Steelers and experience various roles within their program. It is enjoyable being part of the Steelers game days and getting to see how the operational side of a professional sports organisation works. The fast-paced environment keeps me on my toes and allows me to learn in the field.
The course has given me many opportunities to engage with the community; building and strengthening relationships that will help me in the future. I also assist at various school rugby tournaments throughout the region, allowing me to enhance my coaching skills and giving me the chance to educate secondary school students as well.
The four-day schedule includes three days in-class, plus one day for work experience, and gives me the flexibility to work part-time which is a bonus.
I would highly recommend this course. It’s a hands-on course that’s designed to get you work-ready. There is a lot of flexibility so you can make the course work for you, regardless of your situation in life. The team at Counties Manukau Rugby and MIT are great to study with, you basically feel like a Counties Manukau Rugby staff member.
I will continue to utilise the knowledge and skills I have developed and apply them to my current role as Director of Rugby at Pukekohe High School. I also will look to continue with study and complete my bachelor's degree with MIT."