NZTC enables Olympic medallist to pursue studies alongside sport

NZTC enables Olympic medallist to pursue studies alongside sport

Kayla in action

New Zealand Black Ferns Sevens rugby player and Olympic silver medallist Kayla Ahki’s (née McAlister) dream has always been to one day be an early childhood teacher.

As a professional athlete with a busy schedule, NZTC’s flexible modes of learning suited her study needs perfectly, enabling her to pursue her early childhood education studies while continuing her sporting career.  

She opted to study the Certificate in Early Childhood Teaching (Level 6) – now known as the New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care – using the college’s online mode of learning, which allowed her to study solely through NZTC’s unique online learning environment, NZTC Online.

“Online study has been amazing for me. As a full-time athlete travelling a lot, NZTC has enabled me to pursue my studies anytime and anywhere in the world and fulfil my study commitments,” said Kayla.

During her studies she continued to train and compete on a national and an international scale, competing at events such as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro – where she won a silver medal as a member of the Rugby Sevens team – and the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.

Kayla with her daughter

Following the birth of her daughter in 2017, Kayla continued to study alongside her full-time sporting and family commitments.

“I live a very busy lifestyle, especially with an 8-month old daughter, but I balance my studies with my other commitments by planning in advance. At the start of my week I assess what the week ahead looks like and I plan when my likely study sessions will be,” explained Kayla.

Thanks to NZTC Online, Kayla was able to seamlessly continue her studies upon moving to Ireland recently with her daughter and rugby player husband, Pita Ahki.

“The transition to studying in another country has been a breeze, as I am used to travelling a lot and NZTC Online perfectly suits my lifestyle.”