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Student story

Nicole Purdom

20 July 2023

"By doing this degree it opens up so many pathways that you never thought were possible..."


Bachelor of Sport Coaching with an endorsement in Performance Analysis

Nicole's foremost career ambition is to advocate for women's rugby on a global scale.

"I want to help develop and enhance the women's game and get more people involved and supporting. I want to travel the world bringing new opportunities to girls in a rugby form," she says.

The Sport Coaching degree was the perfect opportunity to develop her rugby skills while earning a degree that supported her passions.

During study Nicole successfully made the Canterbury Women's Team, and recently became a National Champion as winners of the Farah Palmer Cup, the highest-level women's rugby championship in New Zealand.

"The degree is very flexible and gives students a lot of time to focus on their sporting endeavours," she says. "It is relevant and allows you to draw your studies and experiences through your given sports into your assignments."

Flexibility in study also meant opportunities to get involved on campus, which saw Nicole taking part in Ensoc and The Gentlemen's Club through their "unforgettable" social BBQs and wine-and-cheese events.

"UC is a well organised university and has many things to get yourself involved in throughout the year! The people you meet at university are friends for life and the lectures make your time at university fun and engaging.

"In first year I stayed at  Uni Hall and it was the best decision ever. The experience I will never forget and will never regret. Being so close to campus it was easy to walk to every class and the events. The halls gave great food and there was always something fun and exciting going on. The people there made it even better and I have made some amazing friends from there."

As part of her third year, Nicole was the first woman intern with the Canterbury Rugby Football Union (CRFU), with involvement in organising a number of community events aimed at young high schoolers.

"I loved it! The amount of support that was given to me was amazing, and allowed me to get completely involved in many things that the CRFU is involved in. I would recommend it to anyone even if they don't play rugby themselves as it is a great starting point no matter the field you are interested in.

"I did my internship in relation to female and community development and this allowed me to run a U15 female school girls tournament which went very well (however gave me a great appreciation for all the tournaments I have ever played in because they are a lot of work), community coaching days, and Crusader boys camps."

This eventually led to Nicole's current work in Ireland, where she is continuing development for women's rugby and introducing them to the way "New Zealand runs things".

"By doing this degree it opens up so many pathways that you never thought were possible! The placements, practicums and internships allow you to gain experience and contacts to people that you may not have otherwise."

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