There are nearly 100 postgraduate students completing their degrees under the Sport Performance Research Institute of New Zealand (SPRINZ) banner, an AUT research centre which is based at AUT Millennium.
One of those students is sport scientist, Angad Marwah, who is completing his Master of Sport and Exercise, as well as working for Athlete Development, one of AUT Millennium’s community service units.
Angad has spent the last six years at AUT, having completed his undergraduate in the School of Sport and Recreation and also lectures part-time at the university’s North campus.
“Studying at AUT was a no brainer because of its reputation in the Sport and Exercise Science field’, he explains.
AUT Millennium is also home to many of SPRINZ’s 41 academic staff members, who spend their time supervising postgraduate students, lecturing, managing the clinics and devoted to research commitments.
Angad explains that having national sporting organisations, athletes and a university under one roof creates a wonderful environment to study.
“It’s fantastic. You get to spend time with some of the best minds in this industry, not only in New Zealand, but in the world.”
“I love the fact that you can sit down with someone over a cup of coffee and discuss ideas. Studying with other postgraduate students and running ideas past them is of great help too. They all have knowledge and experiences in different areas, with a similar passion for sport and strength and conditioning.”
Many of the SPRINZ students are involved with sport and medical organisations which call AUT Millennium home, as well as carrying out research in the sport science laboratories and the Human Potential Centre.
“AUT Millennium is the training hub for most national teams, so as a strength and conditioner working in the field, having the chance to interact with athletes from different sports, talking to their coaches about their coaching practices and being able to pick their brain is great.”
“It helps you keep learning and you also learn about other sports as well, which in my opinion is critical when you are starting out as a strength and conditioning coach.”
For the past two years Angad has also been involved in AUT Millennium’s Athlete Development programme, working closely with academy athletes, schools and sports teams.
Athlete Development currently has 11 postgraduate students completing Masters and PhD degrees involved in the programme and is designed to provide these students with the opportunity to both impact the athletes they coach and develop personally.
“Having the opportunity to put theory into practice is great. There is no better way than applying what you have learnt in a practical setting.”
“You always come up with different challenges and scenarios whilst working with athletes from different sports, body sizes and abilities. So to have an opportunity to work within those scenarios and work out those challenges alongside the athletes is great.”
Additionally, Angad explains that he also sees tremendous benefits for the young athletes who are members of Athlete Development.
“Our young athletes are being coached by people who are dedicated to using the latest science to assist them to develop both mentally and physically”.
“It is also a great experience for the youth athletes to train in the same facility as some of their sporting idols. They get to see first-hand how much effort and training professional athletes put into their sport. That helps motivate them to achieve the same whilst doing their own training.”
Like all of the postgraduate sport scientists studying at AUT, Angad’s aim is for his research to contribute to the field of sport and exercise.
“Hopefully I will be able to find some answers from my study and come up with recommendations which help team sport athletes, as well as coaches.”
From there Angad will join the growing list of AUT Postgraduate Sport and Exercise students making a significant and important impact, both nationally and globally, in health, wellness and sport.