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Deans and Thorne reunite at the University of Canterbury next week


March 13, 2015


Former All Blacks and Wallabies coach Robbie Deans will be the key speaker at the University of Canterbury’s first sports seminar series event on campus next week.


Deans will explain how leadership skills and ability developed through sports coaching can help find rewarding careers outside sport. Head of the School of Sport and Physical Education Professor Richard Light says the event will raise the profile of sport at the university and engage with the sporting community in Canterbury.


Each seminar will feature high profile speakers with comments from a panel of experts and opportunity for questions from the audience.


Deans is a former Canterbury and All Black rugby player and has coached the All Blacks and the Wallabies. He is the most successful Super Rugby coach, winning five titles with the Crusaders. He currently coaches the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan, winning the 2014-15 Top League championship title in February this year.


Vice Chancellor Dr Rod Carr will meet the former All Black visitors. Other members of the panel include former All Blacks and Crusaders captain Reuben Thorne, College of Education, Health and Human Development business manager Gary Downey and university sport lecturer and double world croquet champion Dr Jenny Clarke.


Deans says coaches and teams, often go through a life cycle of events every week.

“This out of necessity accelerates learning, which is the only consistent point of competitive advantage. Leaders deal with what is important in attempting to make the uncertain certain.”

Professor Light says sport is a dominant activity of Canterbury and that sport inherently plays a growing part of university life.


“I come from the University of Sydney where sport was regarded as one of the eight pillars of their academic institution.


“We connect with international sports people and elite sports organisations at the University of Canterbury. Many of the things that we research here really help the future of sport in New Zealand.


“We had Sir Richard Hadlee on campus recently looking at a cricket app that researchers have developed in our School. Sports research and teaching helps grow our relationships with New Zealanders and key organisations,” Professor Light says.