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.
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.