Student Athlete Commission

The Role of the SAC

The UTSNZ Student Athlete Commission aims to allow the voice of the student-athlete to be effectively communicated with the organisation. It provides advice to the UTSNZ Executive about issues of student sport participation and achievement, and the development of UTSNZ. The Commission also helps to build awareness of UTSNZ within member students groups and to implement student-focused initiatives.

About Us

The University and Tertiary Sport NZ Student Athlete Commission comprises of up to 11 member students. These students are:

  • Currently enrolled at a UTSNZ member institution at the time of election
  • Elected by their tertiary institution
  • Participants in competitive sport themselves, currently or within the last five years, ideally at a national level

Current Student Athlete Commission representatives are:

Abby Crane  (University of Waikato)

Abby is a second-year student studying a Bachelor of Nursing.

Abby plays both basketball and netball, starting netball when she was 5 years old and basketball at 13. Basketball has given Abby many amazing opportunities in life, including travel all around New Zealand and internationally to Melbourne, Las Vegas and LA to play in tournaments. 

Abby played for the U19 Waitakere West basketball representative team which gained a bronze medal at the U19 nationals. She was also selected for both the University of Waikato 3x3 and 5x5 Basketball teams in 2022, finishing 4th in the respective UTSNZ National Tertiary Championships of each format. Her team also taking out the UTSNZ Spirit Award. 

Abby has refereed basketball for many years across different levels of competition ranging from 5-year-olds to male/female competitions, as well as national qualifier tournaments. This year Abby is also involved with the Franklin Bulls NZNBL team as a statistician and is Vice President of the University of Waikato Basketball Club.

Balancing sport and study is important to Abby with goals and aspirations in both her sport and in her chosen field of study. Abby finds that playing sport is essential, helping to balance both areas of her life, as well as developing valuable skills along the way. 

Katie Hollands (Lincoln University)

Katie is a second-year student studying a bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing at Lincoln University. For the past two years she has had the privilege of being both a sports scholar and an academic scholar, being awarded the Vice Chancellors Excellence Scholarship and the Elite Sports Scholarship.

Growing up Katie always enjoyed getting involved in different sports. In high school she played netball, football, touch, cross country and lacrosse. Since year 7, lacrosse has been one of Katie's big passions, having played in various school, club and representative teams. In 2022, Katie was selected for the New Zealand U18’s team, which travelled to Adelaide and competed in the Australian National Tournament. Currently Katie is in the NZ U20’s campaign, with a goal of making the world cup team that travels to Hong Kong in August. At university, Katie has played for UC lacrosse and last year was involved in the National Universities Tournament, where her team placed 2nd. 

Being involved in sport at university has helped Katie meet new people that have similar values to her own, and through the Lincoln Sports Scholarship programme she has met some of her closest friends. Lincoln University has also enabled her to continue her sporting ambitions whilst studying full time, in an inclusive, fun and enjoyable environment where she feels welcomed and comfortable.

Blayze Waddicor (University of Auckland)

Blayze Waddicor is in her third year of a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Auckland. From Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, she has played volleyball and netball for 12 years. Her favourite of all sports is beach volleyball which she has played for 7 years, travelling and competing in the national beach volleyball tour for the last 4 years. 

Blayze has competed in tertiary volleyball for two years and was part of the winning University of Auckland women's team who secured the National Tertiary Championship title for the first time in 2021. Blayze also took up coaching and refereeing in high school and she is now in the middle of a national referee course for indoor volleyball.

Blayze believes sport plays a critical part in studying at university as it requires time management skills which carry over into her pathway as a future doctor. She is excited for the year ahead on the SAC team and is looking forward to helping enhance the social and health aspects of university life for other students.

Connor Mills (AUT)

Connor is a third year Engineering student at studying at AUT. Previously a student at Saint Kentigern College, Connor has continued his sport post-secondary school and has been heavily involved in tertiary sport competing in Basketball, Rowing and 3x3. 

Connor is a vocal leader within the AUT basketball programme being involved with both club basketball, as well as the tertiary basketball and 3x3 programmes. Connor is also employed as an assistant at the AUT Recreation Centre. This job includes student interaction along with helping to co-ordinate and deliver recreational activities. The above roles within the AUT community provide Connor with knowledge, insight and experiences that help him to voice informed opinions, as well as the ability to problem solve.

In addition to the above, Connor is also one of two student representatives serving on the UTSNZ Board. Connor enjoys the community aspects of UTSNZ, including the opportunity to meet new people and develop new connections. He believes the sporting opportunities enabled and delivered by UTSNZ are a great offer for students and can really provide students with a sense of belonging within their university.

April Milne (Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington)

April is in her first year at Victoria University of Wellington studying a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in history and international relations, and hopes to work in an area of international law in the future. 

Sport has always been a large part of April's life. From tennis to ice hockey, playing a range of sports growing up April had lots of opportunity to find her passion. In her younger years hockey was April's primary sport and whilst no longer playing she is still heavily involved with umpiring. 

Now a 400m hurdler, April’s current sporting focus is in Athletics. Starting athletics at the age of 10, she has been specialising in hurdles for the last 3 years, coached by former Commonwealth Games hurdler Wayne Andrews-Paul. In the future she is hoping to qualify for the world university games and maybe get a national title under her belt.

Balancing sport and university is a challenge but one she is enjoying. April is a highly determined person and loves getting involved with many things. She can’t wait to see what experiences and challenges the SAC is going to bring. 

Emma Howie (Massey University)

Emma is a second-year student at Massey University is studying a Bachelor of Food Technology, majoring in food process engineering with Honors. Over the past two years, Emma has been both a sports scholar and an academic scholar, receiving the Academy of Sport Scholarship in her first year, alongside several other scholarships to support her studies.

Growing up, Emma was highly active and enjoyed participating in a variety of sports including water polo, football, futsal, volleyball, and also had a keen interest in surfing and tramping. Football and futsal are now her main sporting codes.

Emma has represented the Bay of Plenty at the national level for both football and futsal, and more recently has also taken on coaching and assistant coaching roles for Waibop futsal, which has provided her with another outlet to stay involved in the sport she loves while recovering from a temporary injury. Additionally, Emma has been part of Waibop’s women's National Ford Futsal super-league squad. Her greatest sporting achievement was being selected for the New Zealand U17 development football squad in 2021.

Being able to balance sport and study is important to Emma, as sport provides a refreshing break and a source of relaxation from the stress of studying. Emma finds that sport allows her to unwind, have fun, and stay active. Finding the right balance between sport and study at university has been a learning process for Emma, but she is determined to overcome any hurdles by following a flexible plan that prioritises both her studies and her passion for sport.

Emma is excited about the year ahead and her new role working with the UTSNZ and hopes to bring fresh insight to the team, as well as collaborate with passionate, like-minded students.

Zeta Schuler  (University of Canterbury)

Zeta is a second-year Bachelor of Science student at the University of Canterbury specialising in medicinal chemistry and biochemistry, with a keen interest in contributing to the research and development of new medicines and vaccines. Alongside her academic focus, Zeta is also taking a number of exercise and sports papers, which she integrates into her personal training to better understand and enhance training methods.

Sport has always been a significant part of Zeta's life, including surf lifesaving, athletics, netball, and basketball. Basketball, particularly, has been Zeta's primary sport for about eight years. She has competed at various levels, representing Tauranga City, Hawkes Bay, and Canterbury basketball associations in national competitions. Her involvement in sport extends beyond playing, having volunteered as a coach in primary school developmental programmes and coaching junior teams during her secondary school years. Currently, Zeta is part of UC's club basketball team and participates in tertiary 3x3 and 5x5 teams. 

Balancing sport and academics has honed Zeta's time management, communication, and collaboration skills, which she finds invaluable for her education and she is excited about the challenges and experiences that being a member of the UTSNZ Student Athlete Commission will bring.

TBC - (University of Otago) - vacancy