02 Sep 2014
Life is sweet for 17-year-old Connor Hamilton. He completed the Diploma in Adventure Tourism at Waiariki Institute of Technology in December 2013, got a great guiding job with Mountain Bike Rotorua and, to top it off, was selected as a member of the New Zealand mountain biking team to complete in the World Cup series.
Following a good season in the national series, Connor made the New Zealand junior men’s downhill long list, which means he had the opportunity to race in Cannes, Australia, where he placed fifth. He will also compete in Scotland Austria, Italy, France, Canada and the US. If he does well, he’ll go on to the World Cup finals in Hafjell, Norway, to complete against the best in the world.
As a 10-year-old, Connor (along with his older brother) was encouraged to explore Rotorua’s famed Whakarewarewa Forest trails by his father, a competitive downhill mountain biker. Both boys took to the sport, especially downhill, with a passion.
“Dad was a national champ for a few years, so of course my brother and I had to try and outdo him.”
Living in Rotorua, the obvious place to gain a tertiary education upon leaving John Paul College was Waiariki, and adventure tourism seemed a good fit. Aware of Connor’s outdoorsy background, adventure tourism tutor Nick Chater advised Connor to jump onto the diploma, which he completed in one year. The institute’s Academy of Sport tutors also assisted Connor’s riding goals by offering training guidance and support.
“The course was amazing; the tutors and the resources were real good and I would totally recommend the overall experience to others. In fact, someone I recommended the course to is already doing the same diploma.”
Connor dreams of having such a good season during the World Cup series that he is picked up by an international team and is paid to learn, train and ride. If that doesn’t happen, he will look at apprenticeship options back home and would consider returning to Waiariki for further study to support that career direction.
For more information
- Related information area(s): Diploma in Adventure Tourism
- Student success: View All Student Success Stories
Page last updated: 02 May 2017