Research shifts perspectives on physical activity programmes

19 March 2021 | Research News

Ellen Nicol hopes the research she completed at Lincoln University will help shift perceptions.

The Master of Applied Science (Parks, Recreation and Tourism) graduate researched the Wellington-based Shift Foundation, a charitable trust that works to improve the wellbeing of female teenagers by delivering physical activity, wellbeing and leadership programmes and other services.

“My research focused on how the Shift Foundation’s programme, Just Shift It, impacted the participants within a wellbeing/physical activity scope,” Ellen says.

“It shows how co-designing physical activity for female teenagers can help them thrive. I really hope that my research highlights this amazing foundation, which is doing incredible things and inspires others to think differently.

“Studying an organisation such as the Shift Foundation was an incredibly eye-opening experience and it taught me so much about young women's wellbeing, and what it is like to experience sport and recreation as a teen in today’s society.

“I think the core aspects of the programme could be incorporated into many of the programmes that New Zealand currently has available for youth.”

Originally from Greymouth, Ellen began studying at Lincoln in 2015.

“I chose Lincoln because sport was my passion and Lincoln offered the best degree, as it also had elements of business like accounting, which have really come in handy since finishing study.

“At the end of last year, I was lucky enough to start a position as senior recreation coordinator at the new Selwyn Sports Centre. Having the academic background from Lincoln, alongside some practical experience from both study and working in aquatics, has been incredibly helpful for this role.”

Ellen is part of the graduating class of 2020, who can attend the rescheduled 2020 Graduation Ceremony (originally planned for 24 April 2020) on Thursday 13 May 2021. This event will mark the achievements of the 2020 graduate cohort. All graduands were officially conferred or awarded their qualifications on 24 April last year, and their parchments were posted to them.

This celebration ceremony will be identical in every other way to the usual graduation event, including the procession before the ceremony, except that parchments will not be handed out onstage (as the students have already received them).