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George Williams

Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science learner

UCOL Te Pūkenga learner George Williams lifting weights in the gym

With 20 years of experience in personal training, George Williams returned to UCOL Te Pūkenga to upskill and further his career.

George completed a Diploma in Exercise Physiology at Manawatu Polytechnic before it became UCOL Te Pūkenga. 

Since then, George has worked as a personal trainer and worked with community health organisations focusing on addiction and Māori health. He has worked with athletes from a wide range of sports codes, from club to national level, including the Taranaki Rugby development programme.  

“I was pretty lucky with Taranaki Rugby, because you get the cream of the crop with those guys. My job was perfecting the basics, developing their strength and conditioning, and helping them understand technique,” says George.

George enrolled in the UCOL Te Pūkenga Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science*, a natural progression building on his experiences in community health. 

George says UCOL Te Pūkenga’s Exercise and Sport Science Lecturers bring a lot of industry experience, research and passion to their teaching. 

“Some are still active in the field, then you’ve got some who have been around for a long time and have run their own clinics.”

George enjoys how the practical parts of the programme allow him to work with a wide range of clients, from high-performance athletes, to people with chronic health conditions. For one placement, George has worked with the New Zealand Under 18 Touch Rugby teams to develop their power and speed.

George is also currently studying Adult and Tertiary Teaching at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to give him to give him an extra point of difference. 

On top his studies, George is a member of the UCOL Te Pūkenga Weightlifting Club, training five times a week. He hopes to compete in the New Zealand Masters games, and is looking at becoming a weightlifting coach and referee.

“With the Weightlifting Club, you get to practice your learnings, like biomechanics and exercise prescription.”  

George balances all of this with his family life, which includes helping his partner prepare for waka ama competitions.

“I support her training, do sports massage for recovery, and help with her nutrition. I’m the cook when we go away. We both travel up and down the country in the weekends for trainings and local competitions.”

After graduating, George wants to undertake postgraduate study in Clinical Exercise Physiology.  

"Exercise is medicine. People are living longer these days, which will present new health-related issues and new challenges to health professionals.”

*The Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science has been superceded by the Bachelor of Applied Science

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