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Karn is a good sport

03 August 2012

Navy Ships diver, joiner, model, barman, factory hand and certified fire sprinkler installer – Karn Waiwai has done them all but now believes he has found his ultimate career path.


After such a diverse and interesting work history, he is now firmly focused on study at UCOL Wairarapa and making his mark on the health and fitness industry.


Well known in Wairarapa rugby coaching circles, 33 year old Karn has always had an interest in physical fitness and exercise. It was by chance that he began teaching ‘Crossfit’ in Masterton last year to a small group of people.


Crossfit is regarded as garage fitness. “It’s the good old fashioned, cardio and strength workout,” says Karn.


Word got around and he was approached by Wairarapa Health and Social Services provider Whaiora to offer his fitness programme as a way to promote physical activity among members of the Maori community.


Within a few short months, the popularity of Karn’s programme has seen his class sizes swell from six to twenty six regulars.


The cost to take part in the class is kept to a minimum and any profits go towards the purchase of basic equipment.


“I decided I wanted to learn more about the body and what it does,” says Karn. “So I enrolled for the Certificate in Exercise and Sport Performance at UCOL earlier this year.”


It wasn’t until Karn started studying at UCOL that he realised how relevant the course was to his work at Whaiora and Crossfit sessions. “Everything we were doing in class I was able to apply to my work straight away.”


Karn recently ran a unique school holiday programme based on traditional Maori games and cultural experiences. “The kids were getting active without realising it and gaining cultural understanding at the same time.”


Karn is a proud and devoted partner and father of five. “My whanau means everything to me so everything I’m doing right now is to better our lives and to teach my tamariki that if you work hard enough and you follow your goals and dreams, you can accomplish anything.”


UCOL Certificate in Exercise and Sport Performance lecturer Eddy Kuipers says Karn has worked hard to get through his study modules. “I know he’s pulled a couple of all-nighters to get assignments finished during the first Semester, but he is already reaping the rewards of the UCOL Exercise and Sport programme.”


The Certificate in Exercise and Sport Performance Level 4 is a one year, full time course.

Photo: Pictured from left: Carpentry student Todd Mason, UCOL lecturer Peter VanderVeen, student Roy Rolston and Construction Programme Coordinator Brett Tickner move framing on the UCOL house build site. 

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