Meet Ashley

We met with Ashley (Te-Ati-haunui-ā-pāpārangi, Ngāti Tuwharetoa), a distance student studying the Bachelor of Sport & Exercise, to hear about her experience at Massey.

Kia ora Ashley! Where does your passion for sport and exercise come from as someone who has been active their whole life?

I’m always looking for new ways to hone my skills and grow my knowledge. I love empowering others through sports – running school groups, designing programmes, and fostering young athletes' development. I coach while also pursuing my own athletic endeavours. I’m very much someone who can’t sit still!

Recovering from your knee injury, you decided to study again. What made you choose Massey?

It was completely by chance, actually. We had a table set up for boxing at a career expo, and right across from me was the table for Massey. I looked over a few times and ended up speaking to the guy there who gave me his number and said he'd be there to help me when I was ready. I grabbed a health book, looked through it, and knew that was going to be my next adventure.

Balancing your study with being a mother, a partner, a coach and an athlete – how do you do it?

Planning out which courses to tackle each day and when to start assessments was a bit tricky, but the tutors were super helpful. That was key for me. They laid out the workload for the week in a way that wasn't too overwhelming. But overall, any concerns or worries I had didn't really become big issues. I'm a bit of a question-asker, always messaging my tutors for clarification on things, and they've been great about it. They're always encouraging me to reach out whenever I need help, which has been awesome.

A key motivation for studying was to inspire your kids. How is that going?

It's pretty cool. My kids are always seeing me studying, it's like a daily thing for them. They come home, and they're like, "Hey, mum, are you studying again?". And then they're like, "So you go to school like me?" And they can relate to that, you know, we all have homework in a way.

Plus, what I'm learning, I can actually teach them, which is pretty neat. For one assignment, I’m using boxing to teach my daughter a skill. So, she's learning while I'm learning, and she's really into it. She even says she likes my course and wants to do one just like it someday. It's pretty special.