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Student Sports in NZ

Sport in New Zealand

In my previous post, I shared that in women's rugby your teammates are your ‘sisters’ and the team is your ‘family’, right from a club level to the elite Black Ferns. Not only is this feeling of community and belonging seen in rugby but it can also be found across a variety of different sports in New Zealand.

Lots of Sports and Fun Activities to Choose From

One of the major things that strikes me is how active New Zealanders are and the array of different sports and activities they can choose to participate socially and competitively in. The seasons are scheduled in such a way that you are able to enjoy a winter and a summer sport. For someone who comes from a varied sporting background, I absolutely love it! This has been absolutely crucial in making me feel at home here. Apart from following my rugby dream, I have been able to compete at CrossFit, get back into judo training, pick up surfing, travel the city on my bicycle with my mates, swim in the ocean and join a dance crew, all whilst being able to study and pass my courses. It has all been made possible by the warm and welcoming people here and that sense of community and belonging that accepts everyone from all social and cultural backgrounds – like the country itself.


Care and Support

Yes, it can be a little difficult for us international students; especially at first when you don’t know anyone and more so if you are an introvert, but joining one or more of all the countless sports and social groups available here can be a boon. Also, the institutions here provide huge support and direction; all one has to do is ask. I have felt extremely safe and supported by Unitec and the department of sports staff. Especially when I've had looming submission deadlines, fallen really sick and had to move houses – all at the same time! My rugby ‘sisters’ and my CrossFit ‘family’ have come to the rescue to find me a place to live quickly and to help with the move. I cannot imagine getting this sort of care and support anywhere else. 

With my sporting dreams being realised one season at a time, the wealth of knowledge available, the making of life-long friendships and the sense of safety as a woman (NZ is one of the safest countries in the world), I can go out on a limb to say that I feel more at home here than back in India!



For those of you who are not rugby fanatics but have a passion for sports and/or want to live an active lifestyle while studying at some of the top class institutions in the world. Take the plunge and immerse yourself in this warm and welcoming, community driven, safe environment and become a part of the New Zealand ‘whānau’. Kia Ora.


By Ketaki KhareIndian Undergraduate Scholarship Student

Updated 5 years ago

Ketaki Khare is the first Indian woman recipient of a rugby playing scholarship to New Zealand. Ketaki is a former member of the Indian women's rugby team and is studying for a Bachelor of Sport - Coaching at Unitec with the objective of changing the face of rugby in India. Highlights of her study include practical and industry experience that has helped her to develop relevant contacts.

*Views expressed are the blogger's own


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