Olympic medalist achieves bachelors
Juggling between being a highperformance athlete while studying has meant for a slightly longer academic journey for elite Southland cyclist Eddie Dawkins.
The Olympic and Commonwealth Games medallist graduated with a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise from the Southern Institute of Technology yesterday.
He said achieving the balance between study and being an elite athlete had not been easy.
Starting the degree, Dawkins was a full-time student attending every lecture and balancing time between training and study well.
‘‘I was attending my lectures in person, it wasn’t hard because my gym coach Will Payne was also my tutor. There was no way he would let me miss any lectures.’’
Making the move to Cambridge for training, Dawkins admitted he let his study take the back burner but during this year, he began to get through the last of his studies.
‘‘It was hard to get the motivation up to study. After training all day, the last thing I wanted to do was study.
‘‘I managed to get the last year of study done in six months. I’m just on the last lap before the finish line.’’
SIT’s attitude toward flexible study programs had been a driving force behind reaching his goals, Dawkins said.
‘‘They just made it as easy as they could for me with scheduling.’’
Adding pressure to his goals was making his parents proud, after all these years of study, he said.
‘‘They’ve been really supportive. My mum, every time we’d talk, she’d ask me when I was graduating.
‘‘I’m really glad I got to give her that call and tell her I was going to be this year.’’
Dawkins joined 532 graduates at the Civic Theatre to receive his bachelors. About 1420 students in total will graduate degrees or diploma’s from the institute this year.
A growing number of offered courses and offering higher levels of study had made for a rise in graduating numbers.
Dawkins’ next goal now is to complete a strength and conditioning course at Australian Strength and Condition Association.
Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt was awarded an honorary fellowship at the ceremony.
Honorary fellowships are given to people who substantially contribute to strengthening the mission of the institute.
Also graduating was Brumbies first-five eight Wharenui Hawera, with a Bachelor in sport and exercise.
Also yesterday, 27 Bachelor of Teaching graduates from the Southland campus of the University of Otago’s College of Education gained degrees.
Southland Campus Programme Co-ordinator Jill Paris said many students had been offered teaching positions in Southland after forming relationships with education providers while on practical placements this year.
After training all day, the last thing I wanted to do was study.’’ Eddie Dawkins
Elite Southland cyclist Eddie Dawkins moments before he received his Bachelor of Sport and Exercise from the Southern Institute of Technology yesterday.