Charles Davis - Bachelor of Sport and Exercise
Publish Date: Friday, 23 February 2024
Charles Davis - Bachelor of Sport and Exercise

Bachelor of Sport and Exercise

#SIT Invercargill #Graduate #Student Profile #Sports & Exercise #Bachelor

Growing up in rural Southland, Charles Davis recalls usually being put in the ‘too hard basket’ at school. After his secondary schooling finished, Charles entered the workforce, working in hospitality. “I was always a bit worried about studying full-time as school wasn’t really a high point,” he says. But the stress of his job was getting to him; he realised it was time for a change.

Charles spent lots of time at the gym for fitness and health, and was keen to study this interest. He sought advice; his personal trainer and the manager at his gym suggested he study to become a personal trainer. Family were supportive too. “Once I told my sister I was going studying she encouraged me to get help [because] it would make it easier for me.” Charles was assessed by SIT Student Support Services for Dyslexia and Urlens syndrome and was diagnosed with both. “It didn’t surprise me,” says Charles, adding he was happy to find out; it certainly helped to explain his school experiences.

Charles enrolled in SIT’s Level 5 Diploma in Sport and Exercise, which then led into the degree the following year. Once he started his studies, Charles got the help he needed to tackle his learning. All of his programme notes were printed on blue paper; it had an immediate effect, improving his ability to concentrate.

Charles found the degree programme covered “a bit of everything”. Memorable topics included the ‘ins and outs’ of anatomy, nutrition, how muscles function, weightlifting and how to perfect form, outdoor training, and importantly, conducting research properly. In learning the ‘how to’ of research, Charles gained skills to assist clients. “Everybody is different, how do you help beginners or the advanced, or someone who’s just walked in off the street?” he explains. “You need to be able to adjust for people’s different experiences and levels of exercise ability, as well as variables such as age and if they have injuries.”

Studying at SIT has given Charles more confidence in trying new experiences. When starting his course, he worried about passing his papers. However, after receiving a very respectable mark of 75% in his first real test, Charles knew he was going to be okay. “I went wow! That’s a really good score. Once I realised I could do it - yes, it would be difficult, but I could do it.” 

From that point on, Charles set himself a goal to pass everything, and do his best.

“A little bit of pressure is good,” a healthy amount to challenge him to learn more, he says. Charles put himself under more pressure where he had strengths, such as the outdoor paper. “It had a large physical component to it. I got really good marks...” 

A programme highlight was sitting an exam and finding out afterwards only three in the class had passed. “... I was one of them ... it was a tough exam. Through putting my head down and persevering, I passed,” he said.

Charles has learned more than just the sum of his papers at SIT. “I’ve learned to be patient, that everyone is more different than you realise,” he says. And there are advantages to being a mature student (he’s in his thirties), including his ability to focus. “No matter your age, you can always do it if you put your mind to it,” Charles advises. Initially nervous about being an older student, this soon disappeared. “I was well received in my class, everyone was really encouraging,” both students and staff alike.

Also enjoying the friendliness on campus at SIT Invercargill and connecting with other students, Charles met a lot of different people. He often participated in the student activities run throughout the year. “There were random activities, [usually] I would give it a go; it was always fun,” he says.

Programme highlights for Charles were the really helpful tutors; “I asked a lot of questions, ... they make [the learning] fun when they can.” And the Zero Fees Scheme made a big financial difference for him. “It definitely takes a bit of pressure off, having Zero Fees. It makes it a lot easier to get by as a student.” 

When Charles was unsure about the application of course material, he reached out for help and classmates or tutors would explain it. He always had time to improve or correct his material. “I put a lot of effort into my assignments,” he added. 

With the degree successfully completed, Charles is on a roll and continuing his studies in 2024. The Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Health Sciences (Wellness and Rehabilitation) is a level 8 full-time, one year programme. “I want to be able to help in sports rehabilitation; I’m currently recovering from a few injuries myself, and I want to help friends and family as well,” he says.

Once Charles completes his studies, the priority is to take on a Personal Training role, and he’s looking forward to seeing what other doors may open in the future.