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Simon studied the Certificate and Diploma of Applied Fitness at NMIT before being part of the first NMIT cohort to graduate with the AUT Bachelor of Sports and Recreation in 2008.
Before handing around the heavy Super Rugby trophy for selfie photographs, Simon emphasised the need for gaining a broad base of skills through their studies. "My job is all about people and getting the most out of people. People skills and understanding people is one of the most important things."
He also encouraged the students to grab every opportunity. He said with sport, volunteer work is very important and can lead to paid opportunities. "That's sport you always do more than what you are paid for but work is my passion."
Working with the Crusaders was Simon's dream career goal from when he first started studying. He says, "I managed to do it with the help of the people here."
Simon worked his way to the Crusaders by first being employed with the Tasman Makos and assisting part time with the Crusaders. He then became a full time assistant in strengthening and conditioning with the Crusaders for four years before reaching his current position.
(Photograph shows NMIT graduate Simon with current Rugby Union Academy Scholarship students studying Fitness at NMIT; Isaiah Miller and Jamie Spowart.)