Military man Tyson Hiua has been deployed to the Solomon Islands, East Timor and Afghanistan, but it's his move to Southland to study at SIT that opened up a whole new career for the Bachelor in Sport and Exercise graduate. A combination of hard work, good networking, and utilising the range of support services offered by SIT has lead to him securing a dream job as of Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach for Academy Southland.
Originally from Auckland, Tyson Huia moved to Melbourne as a teenager. After completing his secondary schooling in Australia he decided to return to New Zealand to join the Army as part of the 21st Royal Infantry Regiment. When he got married and left the military to travel overseas on new adventures before eventually settling back in New Zealand, Tyson decided it was time to change direction, so he decided to pursue his long-held interest in all things sporting, studying at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT). “I chose to study a Bachelor in Sport and Exercise with the goal of becoming a strength and conditioning coach,” he says.
SIT’s Zero Fees scheme helped seal the decision to move south for Tyson and his wife. Throughout his three years at SIT, Tyson managed to explore varous avenues of the industry he intended working within, and upon his graduation in 2018, he was successful in obtaining the position of Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach for Academy Southland. “I oversee the annual strength and conditioning programs for athletes who are a part of various groups, such as Academy Southland, Southern Performance Cycling Hub, and Netball South,” Tyson say. “The role also supports the Southland Phoenix Synchronized Swimming and the Southland United Football.”
Tyson found both the course and tutors helped him to understand the foundations of strength and conditioning. “The tutors at the School of Sport and Exercise were outstanding at SIT, particularly Heni was very supportive with providing progressive steps to ensure I succeeded in my final year,”
“I found the facilities impressive, especially with the Human Performance Centre, which helped me apply theory to practice, especially while using the V02 metabolic chart.”
Tyson says he found the community supportive and the ILT stadium world class. “As a student, I found the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome to be extraordinary and now, with the Mike Piper Training Centre used for the top athletes, I don’t think you would get this experience anywhere else.
He also made sure to utilise the support available at SIT. “As a Maori with Niuean connections, I also spent most of my spare time at the Student Support Centre, based in Te Pakiaka at SIT. The support helped ease the workload with my time at SIT, and allowed me to connect with other indigenous networks.”
In his first year at SIT, Tyson found part-time employment with the help of Student Services, and then with networking he was able to find other positions in the industry from there. “Based on my experiences so far, my advice would be to be a genuine person – learn to evaluate everything you do and work as hard as you can, because eventually, you will get noticed.”
Tyson would like to complete his Masters in Applied Science and hold an Australian Strength and Conditioning Accreditation Level 2 by 2020. “The aim is to build on the current strength and conditioning program for Academy Southland and support its direction,” he says.