Career in aviation a step closer for rugby player after winning sports scholarship

Career in aviation a step closer for rugby player after winning sports scholarship

Promising rugby player, Seta (Sitaleki) Baker has won the NMIT/Tasman Rugby Union Scholarship to study at NMIT.
Seta Baker
Seta's been in love with aircraft since his first flight to Tonga.

The partnership between Nelson Institute of Technology (NMIT) and the Tasman Rugby Union (TRU) aims to help promising young rugby players further their tertiary education while pursuing their sporting dreams.

Seta began training with the Tasman Mako squad in 2020 and was selected for the Crusaders Under 20’s to play in the 2021 Super Rugby Aotearoa Under 20’s Tournament which took place in April.

Chris Goodman, Crusaders Academy Manager says Seta is an extremely hard-working player.

“He’s very physical, and a powerful ball carrier,” says Goodman, “At the same time, he’s a real team man and aware of others.”

Seta Baker
Seta Baker and Tasman Mako Coach, Gray Cornelius.

Goodman says scholarships like these provide benefits for the community just as much as the players.

“Bringing in guys of Seta’s character really adds to the community. It contributes not just to regional rugby but also to our economy because he’s more likely to stay and work in the Nelson Tasman area after completing his studies.”

Seta says he’s extremely thankful for the scholarship which will enable him to complete his aviation engineering training at the NMIT Woodbourne Campus, located just outside Blenheim.

“I remember taking my first flight to Tonga when I was little and from then, I’ve been in love with aircraft and wanted to be a pilot or aviation technician.”

“I’m not good on the theory so working on aircraft and practicing on them makes learning easier for me because I’m such a hands-on person.”

Seta is currently studying for the New Zealand Certificate in Aeronautical Engineering, (Level 4). This programme is NMIT’s main “Into-Employment” aeronautical engineering programme providing the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in the aeronautical engineering industry.

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