Rachel Smart

'I want to become a well-known swim coach in New Zealand...'

  • Rachel Smart

Studying towards a Bachelor of Sport Coaching with an endorsement in Leadership

Head Swim Coach, Kings Swim Club, Auckland

Having coached swimming since she was 14 and competed nationally, Rachel has a clear passion for sport coaching. However it was only recently that she decided to take her passion to a professional level after hearing about UC’s Sport Coaching degree.

‘I had a gap year because I had no idea what I wanted to do,’ she says. ‘Then I got asked to coach and it lead me to do this course as I found out I really enjoyed coaching.’

Rachel has held several roles teaching swimming to different age groups. Currently working at Kings Swim Club as the Head Coach, Rachel coaches first-time racers and club swimming groups several times a week.

As such, being able to study Sport Coaching by distance has been an especially good opportunity.

‘I choose to study at Canterbury because I could do my degree at home where I am already coaching so I thought it was awesome that I could do this course at home in Auckland. I really like the distance learning. I enjoy the lectures and I can do it all in my own time around all the other activities I do.

‘What I also really enjoy in this degree is that most of the stuff we are doing I have never done before, so I like that I am learning new things and then am able to use this information to make me become a better coach.’

On top of her studies and coaching roles, Rachel also does her own swimming training. She swam in the Olympic Trials in 2012 and the Commonwealth Trials in 2014 coming 7th in New Zealand for the 200m butterfly and 14th for the 400m individual medley.

With all of her successes so far, Rachel is looking forward to the opportunities her degree can give to her current and future career.

‘The thing that motivates me to study this degree is that I love working with kids and I like to see them do well and improve. I also want to become better than what I am now and by doing this degree I am learning lots of new things that I can use on my swimming squad to help them improve.

‘I want to become a well-known swim coach in New Zealand and be able to coach high performance swimmers. I also want to have my own swimming club.’

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