EIT graduate Peter embraces his new life

Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

5 mins ago

Peter Whalley has never shied away from accepting new challenges. In reward of his commitment, the passionate long-distance runner is now graduating with a Master of Health Science with Distinction. Shortly after submitting his thesis he decided on a big move to the bottom of the South Island.

Peter grew up in Rotorua as the youngest of four. “Our family was one of the real outdoorsy ones. We loved tramping and camping, and we spent a lot of time at the lake, in the forest, and at the beach.” Both parents were very sporty and introduced their children to all kinds of sports.

Straight out of high school Peter joined the army and completed a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise at Massey University sponsored by the army. He trained as an officer at the New Zealand Officer Cadet School in Waiouru and worked on site as an Operations Officer coordinating medical support for army training exercises and operations.

After the devastating cyclone that hit Fiji in 2016, he was sent there as a Health Liaison Adviser to plan health logistics and to manage environmental health issues that affected the army personnel.   

As life goes however, Peter had fallen in love with a woman from Hawke’s Bay, Erica. He left the army in 2017 to move to Napier and to brush up his skills at EIT. “I thought that studying Health Science would open up new career perspectives.”

Shortly after taking up his studies he started to work part-time as a sports coordinator at Flaxmere College and then as a health and fitness tutor at EIT’s Trades Academy. “My scope was to introduce the students to work in a gym environment. I got a good insight into how challenging teaching is,” says 27-year-old Peter.

He very much enjoyed his year at EIT. “It was easy to establish relationships with our lecturers and to get in contact with fellow students.”

In his thesis, Peter compared the different forms of caffeine supplements – chewing gums, tablets and dissolvable strips – on running performance. “I really enjoyed carrying out the research. All of EIT’s staff were super helpful. I could even use the wine lab for my tests.”

His supervisor, Dr Carl Paton is full of praise for his straight-A-student. “His thesis is an excellent piece of work and I’m confident that it will fly through and get published in an international journal.”

For now however, it’s all about getting settled into his new life. Peter recently accepted a job offer as a health promotion adviser at the Southern District Health Board in Invercargill. The couple found a nice house and was surprised how much cheaper it is to rent compared to Hawke’s Bay.

“We will probably not get a lot of sun down here,” Peter says with a smile on his face, “but there is plenty of outdoor stuff to do. I went for a surf in January, and everyone wore warm wetsuits and boots. That was pretty astonishing.”

“I’m really happy to be in the work-force again and to apply my knowledge in both sports and health science to my new role.” Peter will probably need another set of warm clothes, a warm wetsuit, and a good raincoat. 


U.S. Ambassador Scott Brown visiting EIT

Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

13 mins ago

On Friday, the U.S Ambassador to New Zealand, Scott Brown visited EIT’s Pettigrew Green Arena. He and his family are attending Napier’s annual Art Deco Festival and are taking part in the vintage car parade on Saturday. Being a successful triathlete, the 59-year-old Ambassador took the chance to meet with members of EIT’s School of Health and Sport Science.  

In particular Mr. Brown sought advice regarding his training regime in preparation for the World Masters in Switzerland later this year. EIT sports science lecturer, Dr Carl Paton, who coaches a wide range of world champion athletes, shared his expertise with Mr. Brown and offered his advice to further discuss the Ambassador’s training.

“You are like a kid in candy shop,” said Ambassador Brown to Dr Paton looking at the high-quality training and research facilities at the Pettigrew Green Arena.

Sport has a vital importance for Mr. Brown, he served as a board member for the USA Triathlon Foundation, introducing youth to the sport of triathlon. Following some micro fractures after an accident, it took him a year to be able to run again and Mr. Brown recently completed the Triathlon NZ National Sprint Championships with his favoured discipline noted as swimming. 


Nat Waran, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Health Science and Kirsten Westwood, Head of School of Health and Sport Science told him about the broad range of interests EIT has in terms of teaching and the community based research which reflects community needs.


Mr. Brown also enquired about job opportunities EIT graduates have. “Sport is a learning context for a lot of our students,” said Kirsten Westwood. “They build skills in order to establish their own business for example. A lot of our graduates work for Sport Hawke’s Bay, coach other athletes, work in gyms or as health advisers and with communities or in public services.”


The new EIT Institute of Sport and Health Science at the Sports Park in Hastings will be opened in July as both a research center and an important institution for community sport and health opportunities.