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University takes classroom to the Chiefs

10 October 2006

University takes classroom to the Chiefs

The University of Waikato has taken the classroom ‘out on the road’ in an initiative to give the Chiefs rugby players a career pathway once their professional playing days are over.

The Super 14 franchise players have signed up with the University for a certificate in management, which is being taught in weekly three-hour sessions at the Waikato Stadium.

University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the collaboration with the Chiefs is a high profile example of how the university is taking a flexible approach to the provision of education.

“Our primary goal is to educate people, and with the Chiefs we’re working with individuals and organising a programme that suits their lifestyles rather than expecting them to fit in with us.”

Chiefs Captain Steven Bates says what they do after rugby is a genuine concern for a lot of players. So he’s pleased the Chiefs management has taken the step to assist players for when their careers move into a new phase.

Greg Smith, the Chiefs professional development manager, is a fan of tertiary education, and hopes the initiative will give the players confidence to go on to further university study.

“These guys acquire considerable skills as rugby players – they learn to analyse, strategise, develop human resource skills and become proficient communicators. It’s a natural step to take all those skills and transplant them into a business environment.”

The Chiefs players are currently tackling the first of eight papers, Introduction to Management. Other papers from management, law and sport will be offered over a two year period.


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