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Canterbury footballer on track for exciting teaching, coaching career

23 August 2022

Luke Blackie has been playing football all his life. Now the 22-year-old Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) graduate is looking forward to inspiring the next generation as a teacher and sports coach.


Bachelor of Sport Coaching graduate Luke Blackie is looking forward to inspiring the next generation as a teacher and sports coach.

As a school leaver, Luke initially followed his love of sport to the NZ Institute of Sport (NZIS) in Ōtautahi Christchurch. He then cross-credited two diploma qualifications gained there towards a Bachelor of Sport Coaching at UC, which he finished last year.

“The way UC allows cross crediting to happen was a definite pull factor for me and it made switching to university very easy. Studying at UC was a really positive experience for me.

SDG 4 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 - Quality Education

“The UC sport coaching team is awesome and there are helpful tutors too with lots of experience. Class sizes are small enough that you get to know everyone and can ask questions. UC’s lab and gym facilities are also very well set up with top quality equipment and technology.”

Luke says completing a 120-hour practical component for his undergraduate degree was a real highlight. The Selwyn United striker put in the hours required for that part of his degree with his old football club, Cashmere Technical, as a coach and First Kicks coordinator on Saturday mornings.

“Other opportunities outside the classroom were made available too, such as off-campus trips to Science Alive to explore sport science topics.”

Alongside his interest in sport coaching, Luke has a passion for teaching that he is now honing as he completes a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Primary Teaching) at UC. He aims to start working as a primary school teacher next year so he can unlock potential in the classroom as well as on the sports field. In his first teaching placement, he was delighted to accept an opportunity to coach Year 7 and 8 boys’ football for a winter sport competition and carried that on beyond the end of the placement. He says this was an invaluable experience.

“With my Bachelor of Sport Coaching, I could readily combine teaching with being a sports coordinator in a school – I’ve got the ideal grounding for that now. With the way UC allows cross-crediting, I could potentially head into secondary teaching/PE coaching too if I wanted by adding a few more papers.”

Luke plans to enrol in master’s papers in primary teaching at UC this summer to further hone his teaching qualifications.

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