Haidee Tiffen

'New Zealand needs top-quality PE teachers...'

  • Haidee Tiffen

Bachelor of Education and Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary) specialising in Physical Education

Head Coach, New Zealand White Ferns

With years of international sporting success and her degree behind her, Haidee has no doubts about the positive influence she can pass on to young New Zealanders.

'I am passionate about PE and empowering young people to reach their full potential,' she explains. ‘Everyone brings with them into the classroom or onto the sports field gifts, and my role is to help bring those gifts forward to the world. Education is about drawing out and expanding people’s potential.’

Haidee played cricket for the New Zealand White Ferns from the age of 19, and a highlight of her career was winning the World Cup in 2000. Taking over as captain in early 2006, her playing career culminated in leading the squad to the World Cup Final in 2009.

After graduating with her teaching degree, Haidee was quick to achieve her initial goal of becoming a PE and health teacher at Kelston Girls’ College, Auckland, and she was soon made Head of Department. ‘I loved that role!’ she says.

In 2015 she returned to the Silver Ferns having been appointed Head Coach and chief selector.

‘Teaching and being in education has certainly helped my role as the Head Coach of the White Ferns. As a teacher, and now as a coach, my underlying philosophy is about building positive relationships and seeing students and athletes as people first and foremost. ‘

She adds: 'New Zealand needs top quality PE teachers to ensure our future generations are encouraged to be the best that they can be. We want our youth to be active and enjoy the benefits that physical activity can provide. We also need to be aware of what we can learn through movement that can develop the whole person.'

For others considering a degree in Physical Education, Haidee’s determination and positive attitude is a great example. 'Never give in, never give in! Be organised and manage your time wisely otherwise it could turn out to be a very long four years!'

Haidee chose UC because 'it has the best PE teaching programme' and adds, 'I enjoyed the people – staff and students! There is a supportive and encouraging environment created by the staff. They are very passionate about the degree and the programme is of the highest quality.'

Fariya Naseem

Fariya Naseem

'It was a big decision for me to come here and the staff and other students were very welcoming...'

Cain Tweedie-Cunningham

Cain Tweedie-Cunningham

'Teaching younger, new entrant kids was a lot harder than I expected, but it was surprisingly fun...'