A more even playing field for disabled people

A major new University of Waikato scholarship aims to help open up sport and active recreation for disabled people regardless of their impairments.

Sport and active recreation can and regularly does marginalise disabled people. The University of Waikato’s Te Huataki Waiora School of Health, Sport and Human Performance has worked with other major national and regional organisations to come up with three areas for research. These projects are designed to help address some of the systemic problems that contribute to the exclusion of disabled people from sport and active recreation.

The scholarship will provide the opportunity for three full-time doctoral students to undertake research in the following areas:

  • Policies and practices that support inclusion in disability sport and active recreation

  • Coach development in disability sport

  • The welfare of Para athletes

The School’s Acting Dean AP Kirsten Petrie says that in essence the scholarship is about inclusiveness and equity. “Disabled communities are underserved in this country, and around the world. We want all New Zealanders to have the opportunity to engage in and enjoy active recreation and sport. This research is an important step toward supporting the incredible work our partner organisations already do in our communities”

University of Waikato Lecturer, Dr Robert Townsend says he is excited by the potential of the projects to enhance opportunities for disabled people to access and excel in sport and active recreation. “The roll-out of multiple PhD and Masters scholarships in disability sport is a world-first and further demonstrates the University of Waikato’s commitment to creating partnerships and establishing a disability sport research agenda that will make a difference to the lives of disabled people in New Zealand".

The University of Waikato developed the projects in collaboration with the Halberg Foundation, Paralympics New Zealand, Special Olympics New Zealand, Sport Waikato, and Parafed Organisations in New Zealand.

Fiona Allan (Chief Executive, Paralympics New Zealand) says research such as this is vital in continuing to evolve and grow Para sport in New Zealand. “It is great to be working across the sporting sector and with the University of Waikato to offer scholarships creating research that will benefit all disabled athletes. It will assist to make sport more accessible for disabled people and in turn support the creation of more systems and programmes to enable participation in Para sport. Within high performance Para sport our Para athletes and Paralympians work hard everyday to be the best they can be, their welfare is critical to their success and wellbeing. This research will inform further developments in Para athlete welfare support.”

The Chief Executive of The Halberg Foundation, Shelley McMeekan commends the University on the Scholarship initiative for post graduate students that has a focus on equity and inclusion within sport and active recreation.  “In particular, Project one around ‘Structural Inclusion, Equity and Access’ aligns with the Foundation’s vision of an inclusive New Zealand. We thank the University for the collaborative opportunity and look forward to seeing the research outcomes from the successful students.”

Applications for the scholarship close at the end of this month. Full details are available here

-University of Waikato

New era dawns at UC

Professor De la Rey - photo credit University of Canterbury

Professor De la Rey - photo credit University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury’s 2018 results signal a new period of consolidation and growth, with a pleasing surplus, increased student numbers, newly opened learning facilities and buildings, and increased research revenue.

The University of Canterbury |Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 2018 results signal a new period of consolidation and growth, with a pleasing surplus, increased student numbers, newly opened learning facilities and buildings, and increased research revenue.

The University’s audited result for the year ended 31 December 2018 coincides with the recent appointment of new Vice Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae Professor Cheryl de la Rey and Chancellor | Tumu Kaunihera Sue McCormack.

Professor De la Rey says she is pleased to see UC on a trajectory to success across all the areas of achievement expected from a world-class institution.

“We begin 2019 with vibrant student numbers, exciting new facilities for learning, internationally leading research and a pleasing balance sheet as well. It is very exciting to join the University at this time and to make my contribution to the wonderful work that has been done so far to deliver UC beyond recovery and very much into growth and further development.”

“The 2018 results are a credit to the University of Canterbury Council, Senior Management Team and every single staff member of our organisation,” Professor De la Rey says. “Thanks to my predecessor Dr Rod Carr and former Chancellor Dr John Wood for their effective leadership of the University.”

It was a year of highlights for the University. Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern opened Stage 1 of the $220 million Rutherford Regional Science and Innovation Centre – the Ernest Rutherford building, named for renowned UC alumnus Lord Rutherford. The building includes specialist teaching and research laboratories for Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Geology, Geography and Biological Sciences. Construction of Stage 2 is well under way, the innovative multi-storey timber-framed building named for UC alumna and renowned astronomer Beatrice Tinsley.

The blessing of the new Rehua building, which opened for teaching in January 2019, marked another special moment in UC’s recovery. Rehua houses the College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora, the Centre for Entrepreneurship | Te Pokapū Rakahinonga and the Executive Development Programme of the College of Business and Law | Te Rāngai Umanga me te Ture. 

In 2018 UC recovered student numbers with 14,070 EFTS* overall (an increase of 7.5% on 2017), with increases across domestic, international and postgraduate students.  

Financially, the University achieved a $9.6 million surplus, compared to the 2017 deficit of $5.3m, and a budgeted operating deficit for 2018 of $7.9m. The surplus was buoyed by a one-off insurance payment for earthquake damage. The University also received the final $50m of support from the Crown, having achieved the necessary milestones and targets required. This post-earthquake support of up to $260m of the University’s building programme concluded in 2018. The University remains grateful for the assistance from the Crown and, through that support, its acknowledgement of the role UC plays in the city of Christchurch and the economy, as one of the region’s largest employers.

*Equivalent Full-time Students

-University of Canterbury

Is ‘sex ed’ failing the #metoo generation?

Kathleen Quinlivan

Kathleen Quinlivan

Navigating contemporary gender issues is complicated for young people, and New Zealand’s traditional sexuality education is not keeping up, according to a Canterbury education expert.

Gender fluidity, consent, exposure to pornography, sexual violence, and the power dynamics behind the #metoo movement are some of the issues University of Canterbury Associate Professor Kathleen Quinlivan explores in her new book Exploring Contemporary Issues in Sexuality Education with Young People (Palgrave).

“One of the main issues is this huge slippage between what young people need and what they are getting. We are in the era of #metoo, sexual harassment, sex and gender politics and those are things that young people really want to know about, but they are often not areas that teachers and parents are comfortable going into,” Assoc Prof Quinlivan says.

The internationally recognised researcher of school-based sexuality education says a limited health and risk focus of sexuality education lingers. That the word “pleasure” was removed from the most recent (2015) Ministry of Education sexuality education guidelines is typical of a cautious official approach, she says.  

Meanwhile, young people are taking matters in to their own hands, Assoc Prof Quinlivan says.

“There are feminist groups in schools and there are queer-straight alliance groups in schools that have strong social justice orientations, combatting discrimination and talking about pleasure – there are a lot of informal things happening that are not visible in the formal arena.”

The gaps can be bridged, she says. Assoc Prof Quinlivan advocates for teachers to listen to young people’s lived experiences and venture beyond traditional boundaries.

“It is not easy teaching these things. The Ministry of Education is risk averse and doesn’t provide support for professional development, plus the Sexuality Education guidelines are not compulsory – in fact schools didn’t even receive a hard copy of them,” she says. 

“Policies aside, the relationship with students is the most important thing for teachers to develop and that takes time. You have to be someone who is really interested in exploring the issues that young people are dealing with.”

The possibilities for change are exciting, she says.

“The rise of the #metoo movement has been huge – there has been a tidal shift. There is a new feminism where younger women are starting to stand up and talk about the things they experience. Through popular culture, in response to gender-based harassment, sexual diversity and the rise of #metoo, there is a renewed interest in gender activism – it is a bit of moment really!”

The book was launched in New Zealand on 20 February to coincide with a symposium for academics and teachers at UC’s College of Education, Health and Human Development, titled Coming In Slantways: Sexuality Education Otherwise. Presentations and workshops enabled participants to explore and expand their practice, bringing the fruits of research to both educators and their students.

Exploring Contemporary Issues in Sexuality Education with Young People  , by Kathleen Quinlivan, Palgrave Macmillan UK, ISBN 978-1-137-50104-2

Exploring Contemporary Issues in Sexuality Education with Young People, by Kathleen Quinlivan, Palgrave Macmillan UK, ISBN 978-1-137-50104-2

The book was launched in New Zealand on 20 February to coincide with a symposium for academics and teachers at UC’s College of Education, Health and Human Development, titled Coming In Slantways: Sexuality Education Otherwise. Presentations and workshops enabled participants to explore and expand their practice, bringing the fruits of research to both educators and their students.

-University of Canterbury

PRE-REGISTER WITH THE DIABETES CLINIC AND SAVE $NZ100

Diabetes Clinic 1.jpg

The Diabetes Clinic uses a proven approach to reverse pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes naturally.

Our team is made up on both Medical staff and Natural Health Professionals. We are launching our online clinic on 18th April 2019. The cost of the clinic core programme will be $NZ790 and provides a comprehensive programme to help our clients for up to six months. This price has only been achieved by taking our programme online. There will be additional options for those who may need further help beyond six months

We have decided to provide the first 100 people to register (and pay for the core programme) a onetime only discount of $100 making the cost of our clinic $690 for these first 100 people.

While these clients are waiting for the online clinic to launch, we will start the process of helping them prepare for the clinic using an exclusive Facebook group which will be managed and supported by our Health Coaching team.

The process to register for the clinic is as follows
Email info@diabetesclinic.co.nz or message us via https://m.me/diabetesclinicnz with your email and contact phone details.

A Diabetes Clinic Health Coach will contact you and check our programme is right for you*

Provided you are accepted into the programme, you will be sent an invoice for immediate payment to secure the discount.

Once payment is received, we will confirm your membership and invite you to join our exclusive Facebook Group which will start the process of reversing your condition preparing you for the online clinic.

On the 18 April 2019, the online clinic will launch, and you will be automatically added into the system where you can start the core programme. For many, this will be all you need to reverse your condition.

*ELIGIBILITY FOR OUR PROGRAMME 
• Anyone under 18 years 
• Anyone pregnant or breastfeeding (if you fall pregnant, we will hold the programme open for you in future) 
• Anyone who is underweight, undernourished 
• Anyone who has a fraught relationship with food, past or present (Please talk to us)
• Anyone currently dependent on insulin injections over 75 iU within a 24-hour period. (There is a pre-programme option for this situation).
• Anyone with type-1 diabetes, or type 2 diabetes with known pancreatic failure 
• Anyone on complex medicines (Please talk to us)
• Anyone on treatment for current serious mental health issues (Please talk to us)
Should you not be suitable for the programme our Health Coaches will provide what advice they can to help you.
WE WILL ONLY PROVIDE THE FIRST 100 PEOPLE WITH THE DISCOUNTED RATE. IF YOU ARE KEEN TO SAVE $100 AND JOIN OUR PROGRAMME ACT NOW.

For more information on our programme visit our website www.diabetesclinic.co.nz or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/diabetesclinicnz/

Physical activity environment and obesity risk

Dr Matthew Hobbs’ research could help policymakers consider the impact environmental interventions have on preventing obesity.

Dr Matthew Hobbs’ research could help policymakers consider the impact environmental interventions have on preventing obesity.

A new study from University of Canterbury (UC) shows a link between recreational physical activity spaces in a neighbourhood and obesity risk in adults.  

Dr Matthew Hobbs, a researcher at the University of Canterbury’s GeoHealth Laboratory, has published one of the first longitudinal studies, research about an individual or group gathered over a long period of time, which suggests age may be a determining factor when analysing the relationship between an individual’s recreational physical activity environment and obesity. A recreational physical activity environment included parks, gyms, swimming pools, even ice rinks.  

The study was conducted in Yorkshire, United Kingdom, and tracked 8,864 people over three years. At its conclusion, it illustrated that if a young adult’s recreational physical activity environment provided opportunities to be physically active, risk of obesity was lower, however this relationship did not exist for older adults.  

“It is difficult to envisage a future where obesity prevalence decreases in environments that actively promote it,” Dr Hobbs says.  

“Our study showed that the recreational physical activity environments was related to obesity risk, but only in younger adults. An individual’s mobility varies with age and older adults are generally less mobile. While many factors affect mobility, it is plausible that the immediate residential neighbourhood environment may play a more important role in an individual’s daily life who remains closer to home.”  

According to Dr Hobbs, age has not previously been identified as a determining factor in this type of research.  

“The research is especially important for policymakers, as it offers tentative evidence that supports previous research which suggests that the environment may matter more for certain populations. This suggests that policymakers in Public Health and Planning need to consider the impact that environmental interventions have across the life course,” he says. 

“Obesity is associated with a range of diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and some cancers, so finding ways to stop people becoming obese is important for public health and for the public purse.”

-University of Canterbury