Breadcrumbs

Grant Rutherford

Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance

Health, Sport and Human Performance

Key Info

Qualification(s):
  • Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance
Subject(s):
  • Health, Sport and Human Performance

Grant Rutherford is profoundly deaf, but that’s never stopped him achieving his career and study goals. With a Higher National Diploma in Electronic Engineering, he came to New Zealand from Scotland in 2009 to live and work in Wellington. Last year he relocated to Hamilton to begin studying for a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Human Performance at the University of Waikato.

In Wellington Grant worked for Goodnature Ltd, assembling fully automatic traps for possums, rats and stoats; technology that’s a world’s first. “But I never really liked working as an electronic technician and was ready for a change,” he says.

“I’ve always been sporty. I played top-level club rugby in Edinburgh and won eight caps for Scotland’s Deaf team. Now I’m focussing on athletics alongside my university study.”

Grant is one of the older students in his lectures. “I think my life experience holds me in good stead. I can pick things up at lecturers and tutorials a lot quicker than when I was younger. I also manage my time a lot better now and spend a lot of time studying at home rather than going out partying and boozing.

“I’ve also done a lot of background reading in strength and conditioning and exercise science for more than 10 years, as I looked to improve my own strength, fitness and muscle mass for rugby and athletics, and all that earlier reading has helped a lot with my study too.”

Staff at Disability Support Services on campus have helped Grant “massively” with his learning, organising sign interpreters, notetakers, study planning and more. “It’s awesome to receive this much help,” he says.

He’s planning to become an exercise physiologist once he graduates, working with clients one on one, and to continue learning for personal development.

And he’s glad he made the decision to move up the island and come to Waikato University. “It’s never too late to change careers, and always follow your heart, not money,” he says.


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