Sports industry expert gets not only a helping hand, but a mental barocca
The New Zealand tradition of rugby playing is enhanced because of student cooperative education placements. And the student supervisor, Martin Brady, finds the students' youthful enthusiasm refreshing and helpful.
- Martin Bradley and Cooperative Education at the Manawatu Rugby Union
- Benefits of Cooperative Education to Manawatu Women's Rugby
- Benefits of Cooperative Education to Martin Bradley
Martin Bradley was a graduate in the early 2000's with a Bachelor of Business Studies, majoring in Sports Management from Massey University. He has had a close association with sports, especially rugby for some time being involved with the Manawatu Marist Rugby Football Club in Palmerton North from 1999 to 2005 where he fulfilled the roles of Secretary, Treasurer and Chairman. He has also worked for a local South Island community newspaper, The Ensign, and was the Sports Development Manager for Sport Manawatu, and in 2006 Martin was the Assistant Event Director for the 2006 World Junior Men's Squash Championships
Since he had experienced the benefit of Cooperative Education / Work Integrated Learning (WIL) during his student studies, he has continued to support WIL where ever possible. He currently works as a Club Liaison Officer for Manawatu Rugby, starting this role in March 2006. His primary role is to provide support for local rugby clubs. They are funded from NZRU with the focus on improving clubs' administration capability, volunteer recruitment and retention, fundraising, finances and club development and planning, further details can be found here.
Martin in his various roles, has worked and engaged with multiple WIL students. One in particular stands out as an exemplary example about the benefits of WIL to a commercial business venture. Pip Gueorgieff worked with Martin from approximately April 2007 – October 2007, over the rugby season. Upon graduation she then worked for University Sport New Zealand as their Event Coordinator.
Pip was in charge of the development of secondary school women’s rugby. Her work included running three women’s competitions over the rugby season, a 15 aside and a 7’s competition from the greater Manawatu area and a Hurricanes knock out competition. This Hurricanes competition was undertaken to find the best secondary schools women’s rugby team from the Hurricanes geographical area for competition in a national tournament, with a women’s secondary school team from each of the five Super 14 regions in New Zealand. The geographical area included Gisborne down through Hawkes Bay, Wellington, back up through Manawatu and Taranaki.
Pip had “free license” in arranging and running these events. That is all the organizing, running, promotion, sponsorship, and the organization and running of the finals day. Clearly Pip was a very accomplished student, and was given a lot of responsibility to make things happen, with guidance from Martin always being close at hand.
In retrospect the two key benefits that came from Martin working with Pip was firstly the benefits to NZ rugby, and specifically women’s rugby or the Manawatu region. Secondly the benefit of working with an enthusiastic person who has a fresh take on things.
Clearly the goal of Manawatu Rugby is to develop and encourage rugby in the Manawatu area. Pip did a magnificent job of developing women's rugby and started some initiatives that are still running today, even though Pip has moved on.
For example one of the initiatives developed was the Try Rugby program. This was aimed at secondary school women who had never played rugby before. It was a 4 week session, focusing on getting the women up to speed with the rules and game play of the sport. And also importantly letting them see if they enjoy the game, especially the full contact nature of it.
One of the reasons why Pip was so successful is that being a woman she could bring to the table innate wisdom in developing programs for women's rugby.
Martin found there were many benefits in employing Pip. The most important of these was how she brought new life to the organization. Anybody who has worked in an industry for an extended period of time knows how difficult it is to stay fresh and innovative. Employing a bright, enthusiastic and inquisitive student helped immensely in keeping Martin sharp. Pip had a keenness to question, didn't take things for granted, nor did she have any sacred cows. Thus she forced, in a good sense, Martin to think through the "why" things were done a specific way. Thus causing Martin to undertake reflection on habits and behaviours making sure he was on top of his game, and "lift his game" where ever possible. Thus Martin found engaging with this external stimulus of a fresh face very encouraging.
Another positive benefit is that having a student can force the supervisor to be more organized and disciplined. Andy knowing that he was going to be responsible for Pip, thought things through more, was better prepared and it was a "good cattle prod" to be more efficient with his time.
One of the other dangers in working in a job where part of the focus is engaging and encouraging youth is that it is very easy to loose touch with the trends of the young when one is no longer of that age group. Hence it was very helpful to have Pip and her youth as a bouncing board, about marketing and engaging with youth culture.