'I get to inspire our youth to be involved and to have a really positive experience with netball...'
Community Netball Manager, Netball Mainland, Christchurch
‘All day, every day my thoughts are about the sport I love and am passionate about – my hobby has become my job. What’s better than that?’
Amy has achieved her long-held dream of forging a career in sport. A Premier-level netball player, she was drawn to UC’s Sport Coaching degree because she ‘wanted to make a difference in sport’ and felt this degree would help her do that.
‘The variety of what was offered enabled me to have a well-rounded view of the sports industry and allowed me to make a really educated decision about what direction I wanted to head in.
Amy says she has found what she learned in her degree directly applies to her job now.
‘I got a lot of practical, hands-on experiences and the opportunity to intern at a national sporting organisation. The breadth of knowledge I gained, the opportunities to learn from other sporting codes and people and all the foundation skills for sports development were key. It all gave me the confidence that I could make a difference and have a career in an area that I was so passionate about.’
After completing her degree, Amy built up her experience by taking on two part-time jobs, with Christchurch City Council as a Cycle Safe instructor and as an administrator with what was then the New Zealand Academy of Sport.
She then moved with her husband to Cairns, Australia, and worked with the Marlin Coast Netball Academy Programme, first as an assistant coach, then as head coach. With that under her belt, she returned to her home town of Christchurch to take up her current role with Netball Mainland.
‘My role is to grow participation numbers for players, coaches, officials and administrators that support youth netball. This year that has involved designing and delivering netball fundamental skill programmes and coach and umpire mentoring programmes to support primary and secondary schools. It also involved up-skilling and providing professional development opportunities and workshops for teaching staff and parents and coaches in the communities.
‘Next year I will look at supporting our 18 netball centres to roll out the new Junior Netball programmes, which is an exciting venture that I am really looking forward to.
‘I love the job because I get to inspire our youth to be involved and to have a really positive experience with netball. I have the opportunity to coach almost every day, and seeing the development of players is extremely rewarding. The work to be done is endless so I am always being challenged to look for innovative ways to develop our sport. I am surrounded by inspiring and passionate people and I am fortunate to be able to hopefully have a profound impact on our youth that will encourage them to participate in sport.’
As for her long-term goals, Amy says she would eventually like to move into coach development at a national or high performance level and, having coached teams continuously since graduating, she is also determined to keep up her coaching throughout her career.