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Virtual Eye Scholarship Boost For High-flying Otago Polytechnic Student

This year is shaping up to be a big one for Otago Polytechnic Master of Applied Science student Jack Wylie.

Having just returned to Dunedin from the United States, where he worked as a graphics operator on top-shelf golf tournaments for Virtual Eye, the sports arm of Animation Research Ltd, Jack is now preparing to head to our most prestigious golf event - the New Zealand Open at Millbrook.

And this week he received a scholarship, created in 2023 by Virtual Eye, to fully cover the cost of his postgraduate study at Otago Polytechnic.

The scholarship boost is warmly welcomed by Jack, who will continue to work for Virtual Eye while completing his Master’s degree.

Jack completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science (specialising in sports performance analysis) in 2023 and quickly immersed himself in the opportunities the programme provides - most notably an internship with Virtual Eye.

Jack’s role includes ensuring everything is working correctly in regards data and graphics, to ultimately helping create and deliver content for a range of broadcasting clients.

"I've obviously been given some amazing opportunities by Virtual Eye, for which I am extremely grateful," Jack says.

"I started at the end of March last year and was trusted to operate graphics for the first time from our remote studio in Dunedin for the US PGA Championship in May. I also did The Open from the remote studio in July, as well as several other PGA Tour events," Jack explains.

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"At the end of October, I was lucky enough to be sent to Kuala Lumpur, for my first on-site event, the Maybank Championship, a LPGA Tour event.

"I've also just completed the summer of cricket in Australia, rigging our ball-tracking systems for four Big Bash League events before heading to Dubai for the DP World Tour's Dubai Desert Classic in mid-January.

"And I’ve just been operating on three US PGA Tour events: the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the WM Phoenix Open and the Genesis Invitational," Jack says.

"I got back to Dunedin on 23 February, then head to Queenstown this week for the New Zealand Open, which will be my 21st event for Virtual Eye and my 10th working on-site."

Angus Reid, Senior Sports Producer for Virtual Eye, describes Jack as a "superb student" and commends him for taking the initiative with this opportunity.

"For a guy who hadn't been outside of New Zealand and Australia before working for us, he's certainly seen a lot of the world in less than 12 months!

"It's rewarding to be able to provide up-and-coming students these opportunities and we're looking forward to the year ahead, which looks to be big one for both Jack and Virtual Eye," Angus says.

Hayden Croft, Head of Otago Polytechnic’s Institute of Sports, Exercise and Health, says Jack’s scholarship continues a growing relationship between Otago Polytechnic and Virtual Eye.

"Another cohort of students are about to begin their studies, engaging in the opportunity to be trained in aspects of the sport animation production, building graphics for courses, loading animations live during sports matches, setting up and using technology to make it all work."

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