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Timaru outdoor education instructor tops country

Timaru outdoor education instructor tops the country


Aoraki Polytechnic outdoor education tutor Ian Logie has achieved the top New Zealand distinction in his field by being awarded the Outdoor Instructor of the Year Award.

The programme co-ordinator of the polytechnic’s School of Outdoor Education, Mr Logie was presented with the Tall Totara Award at an Outdoors New Zealand Forum in Wellington in September.

He was chosen by the executive of the New Zealand Outdoors Instructors Association (NZOIA) from the best instructors nominated by industry members nation-wide.

Mr Logie said the award was recognition of the success of his students rather than himself.

“One of the reasons I got it was because our Level 6 students have been very successful in achieving NZOIA qualifications.

“While it certainly is nice to be honoured with this award, the real pinnacle of achievement for me is seeing our students do well in national qualifications,” Mr Logie said.

He said Aoraki’s outdoor education programmes produced great outdoor instructors who could work at, say, Outward Bound, or by leading groups in the adventure tourism market.

“Adventure tourism is a developing iconic industry in New Zealand and it provides great opportunities for students who have been through our programmes straight from school.

“There are so many opportunities, both in New Zealand and around the world.

“There are some nice lifestyles to be had with outdoor education qualifications,” he said.

“You know, swapping hemispheres and moving from summer to summer.

“Some of our students could end up on things like taking groups on 10-day guided tours of the Alaskan glaciers and sea kayaking up there. That’s the appeal of the industry.”

Mr Logie, who with three other staff at Aoraki Polytechnic teaches mountaineering, rock climbing and white-water kayaking as the three main technical pursuits, with student options including skiing and tramping, says his students have found rewarding careers at a variety of places in New Zealand and overseas.

“It is becoming a popular channel of study. Next year we will have two Level 4 streams of students, each with 18 students.”

New Zealand’s top instructor gained his qualifications in the outdoor world by discovering kayaking and tramping while studying at Otago University for what was to prove to be an unlikely start to his outdoor achievements – he holds an honours degree in statistics and a degree in economics.

“It taught me how to think though,” he said.

“In my last year of final exams I took a kayaking course and found I really enjoyed it. I tried to go kayaking every weekend.

“I was hooked. Taking a few more kayaking courses I got to work with some top New Zealand outdoor instructors.

“I soon worked out that I enjoyed myself more when I was outdoors,” Mr Logie said.

He worked towards NZOIA qualifications and achieved his Level 1 certificate in 1993.

“Level 2, which enabled me to train Level 1 instructors, came along in 1995.”

He joined Aoraki Polytechnic in 1996 and since has helped “hundreds” of students into their outdoor education careers.

ENDS

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