Ex­cit­ing chal­lenge

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - SPORT JOHN ALEXANDER -

Reuben Har­vey has come full cir­cle in his job at the Marl­bor­ough Sports Academy and he’s very keen to stamp his mark.

He was on the in­au­gu­ral academy sports class roll in 2001, run back then by for­mer Marl­bor­ough rugby rep Aaron Se­nior. And now Reuben is the teacher.

The 29-year-old has gath­ered a wealth of life and job ex­pe­ri­ence since leav­ing Marl­bor­ough in 2003 to study and work in Christchurch, and then go­ing on to work and play rugby in Eng­land.

He re­turned home to Blen­heim at Christ­mas-time and took over the Sports Academy tu­tor’s role and he has sev­eral new ideas he wants to pro­mote to fully utilise the out­stand­ing fa­cil­i­ties and en­vi­ron­ment the prov­ince has to of­fer.

He’s ex­cited about his new chal­lenge and has been can­vass­ing var­i­ous sports or­gan­i­sa­tions in Marl­bor­ough with a view to en­rolling ath­letes who want to go to a higher level.

‘‘They can learn all about what they need to do.

‘‘I have sourced a schol­ar­ship at the Com­mu­nity Col­lege of New Zealand for an as­pir­ing Marl­bor­ough ath­lete, tar­get­ing some­one on the fringe of a Marl­bor­ough, South Is­land or New Zealand team want­ing to crack it into a higher level and make sure they have a proven track record here to keep it to lo­cal peo­ple.’’

He aims at the end of the year to have schol­ar­ships for the Em­ploy­ment En­ter­prise Trust avail­able to Marl­bor­ough Boys’ and Girls’ Col­leges, to help out those who may be strug­gling to cover the costs of cour­ses.

De­vel­op­ing coaches at all lev­els is an­other of his goals. This is an area he thinks has been ne­glected and is cru­cial to pro­duc­ing bet­ter sports­peo­ple. He plans to in­cor­po­rate that into the Marl­bor­ough Sports Academy pro­gramme.

At present re­cruit­ment is still in progress for the 36-week course, which be­gins in two weeks and, as Reuben said, ‘‘It’s pretty full on. Three terms and just three weeks off.

‘‘I will have a good team of tu­tors to­gether and run ac­tiv­i­ties such as mo­ti­va­tion, out­door pur­suits and ad­ven­ture-based ac­tiv­i­ties.’’

As well as the prac­ti­cal side of the Marl­bor­ough Sports Academy course, ex­perts such as for­mer row­ing cham­pion and phys­io­ther­a­pist Kristy Mars­den will be in­volved as well as newly- re­cruited Marl­bor­ough ju­nior rugby de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Mitchell Cross­well.

Nu­tri­tion, gen­eral fit­ness, learn­ing first aid and coach­ing around pri­mary schools are all part of what Reuben be­lieves is an in­ter­est­ing, ex­cit­ing and chal­leng­ing course he has in store for those en­rolling.

The suc­cess­ful stu­dents will emerge from the course with a diploma of sport and a certificate in ap­plied sport which qual­i­fies them to work in any gym­na­sium.

The diploma of sport in­cludes ad­ven­ture, re­cre­ation and out­door ed­u­ca­tion, and bush nav­i­ga­tion, go­ing out on var­i­ous ex­pe­di­tions through­out the year.

Still only 29 years old, Reuben is look­ing for­ward to play­ing premier club rugby with Cen­tral again, hav­ing done so as a teenage loose-for­ward be­fore mov­ing to Christchurch.

He played se­nior rugby for Sy­den­ham in Christchurch, then for the semi-pro­fes­sional Mac­cles­field club in Cheshire, Eng­land, for four sea­sons.

Ap­pli­ca­tions are still open for this year’s course. Any­one in­ter­ested can con­tact Reuben at Marl­bor­ough Lines Sta­dium, or at the Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Scott St or phone him on 577 5190.

Scary stuff: Photo: EMMA ALLEN

Un­der­stand­ing the hu­man body is all part of the course run by Marl­bor­ough Com­mu­nity Col­lege tu­tor Reuben Har­vey, pic­tured at Marl­bor­ough Lines Sta­dium with his skele­tal of­fice com­pan­ion ‘‘Barry the Beast’’ ear­lier this week.

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