Category Archives: Wellbeing

Is preserving totally your ‘jam’?

Join us for a free  lunch-hour workshop in Te Ngaki o Waiutuutu (Waiutuutu Community Garden) on the 27 April to learn the magic of preserving fruit and veggies for the winter months ahead.
Our guest speakers Dee and Steve will be be guiding you through the preserving process, from sterilising jars right through to eating the finished (delicious) product. Spoiler alert: we’ll be making an organic beetroot chutney!
There will be time for Q&A and sharing and sampling of other recipes and ideas for chutneys, jams and relishes to try at home.
What: Autumn Sustainable Living Series Workshop #1: Preserving
When: Tuesday 27 April, 12pm – 1pm
Where: Te Ngaki o Waiutuutu (Waiutuutu Community Garden)
More details and updates: Can be found on the Facebook event here.
Spots are limited to 20 people. Please RSVP to to reserve your place.
We are asking for donations of small (jam – sized) jars for this workshop series. If you have jars to donate, please drop these to Waiutuutu Community Garden or the Sustainability Office ahead of the workshop.
Keep an eye out on the UC Sustainability Community Facebook page for the next two workshops to be announced in the series (hint, fermenting and brewing!).
This message was bought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected, and be in touch with us! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram, sign up to our Sustainability Newsletter or check out our website for more information about what we do, and upcoming events.


Get 20% off pool memberships at CCC AND Learn to Swim for FREE

Have you ever thought about learning to swim, or improving how far you can swim?  The Rec&Sport team have set up an easy way for you to access 20% off CCC pool memberships, and get free swimming lessons to boot!

All good, but why should YOU learn to swim?

Lots of reasons, but here are our top 4:

  1. New Zealand is an island nation with some beautiful beaches, lakes and rivers to play in and on.   You’ll have much more fun if you’re confident you can swim  a few hundred metres to something cool or to safety.
  2. If you’re new to exercise or injured, it is a fantastic full body, no impact workout to build cardiovascular and muscular strength.
  3. If you’re a regular exerciser, it’s a great recovery tool between hard workouts.  Also, once you ‘get’ the breathing, it can be meditative and calming.
  4. There are some cool water based sports/activities that you might discover and be able to participate in once you’re confident in the water.
How to get FREE swimming lessons – yes, there is a catch

The Rec&Sport team have partnered with CCC, and set up a hassle free way for you to get your hands on a discounted pools membership.  We call it Swim Starter.

  1. Head to our website and click the link to register.  
  2. We’ll send you an email that confirms your registration with us, and your status as a UC Staff Member.  You don’t have to be a member of the UC RecCentre.
  3. Take this email to any CCC facility to enjoy 20% off any pool membership (minimum 3mths).
  4. Now you’re a member of CCC pools, you can book into any Adult Swim lesson.   They’re FREE with pool memberships.

It’s important to note that UC Rec&Sport has no further involvement once you’ve got yourself a membership.  You’ll be booking your sessions and buying your membership with the CCC team directly.

Getting yourself a membership is great, not only for the free lessons, but also to swim frequently to learn this new skill in the best way – practicing!  So, book in as many lessons in a short space of time as you can (the holidays are great for this!) You can also practice in-between lessons, or perhaps just use the sauna, steam room and spa for some relaxation!

Happy holidays!
Te Ratonga Hākinakina | UC Rec & Sport

Update on the RecCentre

UC is committed to creating an environment that supports and nurtures student and staff wellbeing and the RecCentre is a valuable part of this.

Due to financial constraints, UC is not progressing with a new RecCentre at this time. However, we are developing a business case to make improvements to the UC RecCentre.

Preliminary feasibility studies with Christchurch City Council are also taking place to explore possible efficiencies and benefits. The study would explore options that add value to the UC Community and increase UC’s contribution to the city.

It is anticpated that both projects will take some months to complete. Students and staff will be able to continue to access facilities and services provided by the UC Rec & Sport team in the meantime.

Bike Challenge Distance Champion Ella Stensness

In the recent newsletter we celebrated our bike champions and gave a prize pack to the cyclist with the most rides. However, we need to give a massive shout out to Ella Stensness, who rode the most kilometres BY FAR with 1402km in February, including we understand a casual jaunt from Gisborne to the West Coast! Ella placed 15th in the country for distance, which was such an amazing effort.

Ella a merch pack is on its way to you! Thanks for providing such an inspirational example – who wants to take Ella on in 2022?

UC staff again put in a sterling effort in the 2021 Aotearoa Bike Challenge, jumping on their bikes during February and placing UC first in the tertiary sector, third for Christchurch 2000+ staff and fifth for NZ 2000+ staff in the annual national bike challenge. See here for the full run down on UC’s cycling achievements.

Keen to ride your bike a bit more, but not sure where to start? Odlin Cycle Coaching is offering free bike skill sessions in Christchurch over March and April.

Check out the session times, along with more information here:

The course will be run in small groups, so you’ll get plenty of personalised advice in a supportive environment. The team are very experienced in catering the course to the meet the needs of the group.

We’re already looking forward to the Aotearoa Bike Challenge next year, and taking real action on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – especially Goals 13, 11 and 3!

Three questions to ponder when choosing the best exercise for you

Exercise is a key part of maintaining or improving your health & wellbeing. But what kind of exercise is best for your health & wellbeing?  Here are three key questions you should ask yourself before embarking on your exercise journey.


1. Does it bring you joy?

Quite simply – if it brings you joy, you look forward to it, then it’s the right type of exercise for you!  It’s likely this activity brings fond memories, good feelings when you’ve finished, allows you to connect with others, or simply allows you time by yourself to recharge.  If you dread your planned exercise, its less likely you’ll commit to a routine.  

2. Is it accessible and easy to get to? 

Location is key.  Your exercise routine needs to be handy to home or work.  If it’s not, its less likely you’ll do it, especially if you have to do battle for a carpark when you get there!   Affordabilty is also important.  It needs to fit your budget and what you’re willing to pay, or when things get a little tight, it’ll be the first thing on your savings list.  

3. Will it help you reach your goals?

First of all – define your reasons for exercise?  Do you want to reduce stress, meet others, improve your physical body, reduce pain or improve sleep?  Not all exercise will meet your goals, so when our time is tight, it’s important to choose the right exercise/activity that will serve your current purpose.   Remember to review those goals regularly – we are human, we evolve and change, and so too will your activities.  

The RecCentre is but one of many options on or surrounding campus where you can get your daily exercise fix.    We recommend you try a gym/studio/group out before committing.  Most will offer a free or low-cost trial week or fortnight (we offer 2 weeks free trial for UC and UCSA staff), so you can see if it’s the right fit for you.    Did you know we also offer off-peak rates?  Save even more on your membership, by training before 3pm each day – perfect if you like to exercise before work or during your lunchbreak! 

If you’ve got any questions about exercise or the gym, get in touch!  You can email or chat with one of our team when you pop over.

Ngā mihi
UC Rec&Sport | Te Ratonga Hākinakina