Summer Small Group Training is here – get in now!

Are you looking for a short, sweet hit of exercise to get you moving through the silly season?  The RecCentre has just the answer, in our popular SGT courses for summer.

Getting started is the hard part.  As humans, doing anything uncomfortable is, well, uncomfortable.  If it’s too hard, we will easily find a way to not do it.   Exercise is no different.  It’s all too easy to plan to do your exercise and then when something else comes up, it’s the first thing to be dropped.  The funny thing is, once you get over the starting phase and start to see results, and feel the benefits, you’ll begin to look forward to your exercise and it will feel comfortable and easy.  You’ll also prioritise it, but how do we get to that point?

Well, there are lots of ways.  One really good way is to join a group of like-minded individuals and meet every week at the same time for your exercise hit. The Small Group Training courses on offer at the RecCentre offer this, in addition to qualified and experienced instructors to ensure you get off to a great start. Anyone can partake, but being a RecCentre member gets you discounts off our already below market prices. 

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So, if you’d like to get a head start on the silly season, and maybe learn something new or meet some new people, head over to our SGT webpages for more information.  We’ve got five different courses ready to go for summer, including Barre, Boxing, Boxing Plus,  and Bootcamp. All courses are four weeks, starting the week beginning 20 November. It’s just one session per week, except Bootcamp which is two, but we reckon you’ll be so motivated so quickly you’ll add a few more sessions in between.

What are you waiting for?  Courses start at just $30 for members, so head to our website to check out the details or call into reception to register for your spot now!

Happy Summer!
UC RecCentre

Good grades don’t equal self-worth

A few weeks back I was “The Cook’n Chaplain” for a 6 day emotional health course I’d organised for 24 students. And so while I was madly panicking in the kitchen making 50 hamburgers, everyone else were learning life changing things about making friends with their own mental health. As they chowed down on my Spankburgers™ (personal note: other people don’t love beetroot as much as I do) loads of them would tell me about how much pressure and anxiety they were feeling about their upcoming exams. “If I fail this paper, I don’t know what I’ll do! It’s just not worth thinking about…”

Sadly, most students I meet seem to believe the lie that their self worth is something they must constantly work hard to earn. Be it through good grades, securing a high paying job, or keeping their parents happy. Remove one of them and they feel their personal self worth begin to shrivel up. But as the famous monk Father Henri Nouwen put it “You are not what you do, you are not what you have, and you are not what others think of you. No! You are the beloved child of a loving creator.”

Now – you may not buy that last sentence, but regardless of your spiritual beliefs his big point is, you don’t need to earn your worth by passing some exam. Seriously. Because whether you feel it or not, you really are someone of huge worth. Without doing a thing.
Of course failure never feels very good. In the depths of disappointment it can feel like we’re nothing more than a sad garden slug being stood on by a giant academic boot, as we feel our hopes ooze out of us. But sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and get some perspective because despite what some people might imply – getting good grades really isn’t the meaning of life.
You are a person of infinite worth, and a D- or A+ means absolutely nothing on that score. So take a deep breath, remember you are so much more than the grades you get at Uni and remind yourself that in the bigger scheme of things (and if you allow it to), this experience will only make you stronger.

Rev Spanky Moore, Uni Chaplain
spanky.moore@canterbury.ac.nz

Secret lives of killer whales explored

A series of recording devices will be deployed in Antarctica this summer to explore the secret lives of killer whales in an unprecedented monitoring programme.

University of Canterbury PhD student Alexa Hasselman is preparing for her first Antarctic field season with Gateway Antarctica this summer. In an expansion of Gateway Antarctica’s ongoing Antarctic top predator programme in the Ross Sea  the recording devices  will monitor the species for four-weeks,  24 hours a day.

As top predators, killer whales are sentinels for the Ross Sea ecosystem. More specifically, tracking their interactions with one commercially important prey species in particular, the toothfish, is critical to supporting the recently announced Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area (MPA) established under the auspices of CCAMLR.

Gateway Antarctica’s work is leading the effort to meet New Zealand’s commitment to study top predators such as killer whales under that agreement. Alexa’s work adds a key capability  says  field team leader Dr Regina Eisert,  who is Alexa’s supervisor at Gateway Antarctica.

“Establishing a passive acoustic monitoring network is a critical step in getting the data we need to effectively protect the Ross Sea.” 

The research team includes two acoustics experts, Dr Andrew Wright, also of Gateway Antarctica, and UC’s College of Engineering Associate Professor Dr Michael Hayes.

Alexa says the New Zealand-made devices will be recording the sounds made by killer whales, and other marine mammals, for several weeks at multiple locations.

“The recorded sounds give us the ability to study animals all day and night, even at times when we cannot be in the field. This will provide a comprehensive record of the various patterns of the whales’ movements, and explore whether Antarctic killer whales have a regular daily schedule.”

In addition to supporting the MPA, this information will direct other work by Gateway Antarctica, specifically the deployment of non-invasive satellite transmitters onto the whales.

The wider initiative, funded through United Nations Environment Programme and a Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship to Dr Eisert, aims to provide further information about the ecology of Antarctic killer whales and other top marine predators, and the connectivity between the Ross Sea and New Zealand.