Maia Smith

'I find that my Sport Coaching degree is so helpful when it comes to working with young children...'

  • Maia Smith

Bachelor of Sport Coaching with an endorsement in Leadership

Primary School Teacher

Coming from a sporting family, Maia is very aware of the benefits she has had from participating in sport, and she is keen to get into a career where she can offer similar experiences to others.

'I've always loved sport and have been involved in coaching from a young age. I always loved being able to pass my knowledge on and empower others through sport,' She says.

Maia was coaching school children in sport throughout her study at UC, and in the summer worked as a surf lifeguard and a beach education instructor, teaching primary age children about water safety. She also coached water polo. 

'I found that what I learned through my Sport Coaching degree at UC was so helpful when it comes to working with young children. The hands-on practicums also allowed me to make connections with schools and youth organisations.'

With a goal to eventually go into a school managerial position, choosing the Leadership endorsement best suited her career ambitions. Maia says one of the best features of the UC Sport Coaching degree is its flexible structure, which meant she could also study a range of subjects, rounding her education.  

'I was able to pick up some papers of interest from UC Business School and incorporate them into my study,’ she says. ‘That also means I had a nice balance, with different class sizes and being on the two UC campuses. Sport Coaching is a relatively small degree so our class was very close and we made lifelong friends.'

Maia is from Christchurch and wanted to study at UC as she is a big fan of the city. 

'There is always so much going on and everything I love is so close,' she explains, adding that there is plenty happening at UC as well. 

'I really enjoyed all the events. O Week and all the other events throughout the year are always a must. They are a great opportunity to meet new people and have a good time.  I also love the campus — there is so much open space there.'

Maia's positive attitude is evident when she is asked to give advice to anyone who is thinking about studying Sport Coaching. 

'If you want something to happen you need to chase it, so be proactive,' she urges. 'This degree offers you so many opportunities to get involved with your dream sporting organisation, so don't be afraid to stand up and take them.'

After completing her degree, Maia went onto postgraduate study in primary teaching, and reached her goal of becoming a primary school teacher.

‘Having studied sport coaching means that I am a step ahead in being able to be involved in the sports side of my school,’ she says. ‘I also found that because of the practical aspects of the sport coaching degree, I had no fear when it came to transitioning to teaching, as my relationship building skills had already been developed.’

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