Aspiring teacher receives DWC scholarship

06 December 2023
Development West Coast
Emily O’Loughlin from Reefton is this year’s Buller District recipient of the Development West Coast Tertiary Scholarship.

Emily has a passion for sports, having represented Reefton Area School and the West Coast at numerous tournaments, excelling as a first year player in the Stoke-Nayland under 18s women's rugby team and earning a spot in the Tasman Makos under-18 wahine rep squad.

Beyond her sporting achievements, Emily maintains an impressive academic record while taking on leadership, mentoring, and coaching roles at her school. Emily's passion for sport and leading others has led her to pursue a Bachelor of Sports Coaching majoring in Physical Education at University of Canterbury.

“From a young age I never really knew what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to do something which involved working with people and helping others,” says Emily.

“When I started high school my first plan was to become a psychologist but then after this year playing netball in Greymouth and coaching some of the younger teams and playing rugby up in Nelson I realised that my passion is for sports and also teaching people how to play sports and actually enjoy the game.”

Emily aims to become a Physical education teacher; she was inspired by teachers who guided her through high school.

“They really showed how much of an impact a teacher can have on you when you are studying at school and how much it can impact your school years and performance. So from these factors I decided I wanted to become a physical education teacher as I am able to still pursue my love for sports but at the same time inspire young kids of all abilities to get involved in any sort of physical activity and give everything a try.”

DWC awards four scholarships annually, and to date, there have been 12 recipients. The scholarships aim to cultivate and retain talented West Coast youth by eliminating barriers to training and employment.

Each scholarship, valued at up to $32,500, offers more than financial aid. Recipients also receive summer work opportunities and a guaranteed job in the West Coast after completing their tertiary education, ensuring a bright future for both the students and the region.

“The scholarship has been an eye opener for me for pursuing my career as it will help finically support my study’s and take a bit of stress off my back, as coming from the West Coast money is a big barrier when going to university.

"I’m very grateful to be lucky enough to be awarded one of these scholarships, and that they have faith in me to do big things for the Coast in the future.”

“I’m so lucky to have been brought up on the Coast and in a small town where nature is right at your back door,” Emily adds.

“I feel the West Coast has shaped me to be the person who I am today and that where ever I go I know I always have a place to call home and I’ll always be welcomed with open arms.”

2024 Scholarship Recipients