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UCOL lecturer in Mountain Bike World Cup

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UCOL lecturer in Mountain Bike World Cup

When mountain biking ace Fiona Macdermid rides in a series of international championships in Europe next month, she will effectively take her UCOL students along with her.

Fiona combines a career as a top mountain biker with part time lecturing in Fitness and Health for UCOL. Her secret? She teaches on line. “That means I can continue to stay in touch with my students even when I’m travelling and competing in international races – which happens quite frequently during the academic year.

“When the race is over for the day, I’m often back at the computer in my hotel room, checking assignments!” she says.

Acting Deputy Chief Executive – Strategy Clive Jones says UCOL is proud to have a world class athlete like Fiona on its teaching staff and is providing some financial support to allow her to compete in the Mountain Bike World Cup series.

“Fiona’s first hand experience and success at an elite level in the world adds value to her work teaching UCOL students,” he says.

Fiona was crowned New Zealand series champion for 2007 and this year won the prestigious Scott Karapoti Classic. The 50 kilometre race, through the Akatarawa ranges, is the Southern Hemisphere’s longest-running mountain bike event and New Zealand’s premier off-road cycling race. Fiona produced one of the best rides of her career, winning by 16 minutes.

She leaves Palmerston North this Friday for her next challenge: the World Cup series, in Andorra at the end of this month and at Fort William in Scotland early next month. She will also take part in the World Championships in Italy in June.

She says she will be amongst the world’s best in the European races: “I’ll be happy to be placed in the top 40 in the World Cup series.”

Fiona and Paul Macdermid arrived in New Zealand from Britain five years ago. Paul is a senior lecturer in UCOL’s Bachelor of Human Performance. Fiona developed her interest in mountain biking since the couple settled in Palmerston North. They have three children, aged 6, 8 and 10, all competitive runners and bikers.


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