Study With Counties Manukau Rugby in 2019

Study With Counties Manukau Rugby in 2019

Many of the greatest names in the game have started out with Counties Manukau Rugby Football Union and in 2019 MIT School of Sports students will be able to study at the Steelers home ground for a diploma-level qualification.

“New Zealand rugby expertise is in demand internationally. The partnership with Counties allows us to provide a gateway to local players, coaches, volunteers and those who want a sports qualification based around rugby to access those opportunities without leaving the area to study,” says MIT lecturer, Fran Serrano, who is also the union’s mental skills coach.

The class will be based at Navigation Homes Stadium, Pukekohe.

For part of the week they will be engaged in running workshops in schools and clubs, learning sports administration and event management through the experience of providing game day support to the union at Mitre 10 Cup fixtures and in school activations.

One day a week, learning will take place either in a classroom at the stadium or through online tools.

“The students being based at Navigation Homes Stadium allows us the ability to support their learning by providing them with exclusive access to all areas of Community and High Performance rugby. Whilst learning the theory behind sport and how a sports organisation operates, they will experience it first-hand which will equip them as employees when they take up employment in the future” says Counties CEO Bart Hoggard.

The union was founded in 1955 and services a growing, diverse and youthful population in South Auckland. There are currently 7897 registered players at all levels of the game in the province.

The Diploma in Applied Sport and Recreation will open up employment opportunities in the rugby industry as well as careers as school sports coordinators, administrators, event managers and trainers.

There are also further opportunities for tertiary study through MIT’s Bachelor’s in Applied Sport and Exercise.

The partnership with Counties-Manukau is one part of MIT’s plans to develop the workforce rugby will need as the sport grows globally.

Last month, Fran Serrano and two students in the degree programme travelled to Chile to run the World Rugby ‘Get into Rugby’ workshops in schools and clubs.

The visit was timed to capitalize on the awareness of the game created by the touring Māori All Blacks.

While in Chile, our team worked with school children who would not normally get a chance to try their hand at the sport in both urban and provincial areas.

They also held sessions for the national touch rugby team as well as the Alumni, Stade Francais and Quelequen clubs.

 “The practicum was a fantastic opportunity for our students to play an active part in growing rugby at grassroots level and to see how far sport can take them. MIT is looking forward to working with Counties to develop the talent in our home region so they can make the most of life on-and-off the field,” says School of Sport, head of practice, Michelle Parsons.

Enrolments for the Diploma of Applied Sport and Recreation (Level 5) based at the Counties-Manukau Rugby Union are currently open and course deliver starts 6 March 2019.

Go to to learn more about the course and how to apply

 For more information, images or interviews please contact:

Ali Ikram, Communications Manager

Manukau Institute of Technology

 09 926 7850 |

 About MIT: At the Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) our purpose is to get people into great jobs. We have been changing lives in South Auckland since 1970, and we are one of the largest providers of technical, vocational and professional education in New Zealand. Every year 15,000 students choose to study at MIT, and we have nine campuses within the greater Auckland region. For more information, visit