New Zealand Open provides high school students valuable work experience

A community programme offering local high school students the opportunity to gain valuable major event experience proved so successful in 2023, it’s returning for this year’s New Zealand Open.

The New Zealand Open presented by Sky Sport takes place in Queenstown from February 29 to March 3, and three eager media studies students from Wakatipu High School will be right among the action.

The three are tasked with working behind the scenes to capture videos, photos and the more fun elements of the event to help build excitement and encourage engagement.

Year 13 Wakatipu High School students Jack Smillie and Jack Trounce are excited to be involved again, and Year 12 student Felix Nicoll joins them for the first time.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my role at the New Zealand Open last year and found it to be a very rewarding and fun experience,” says Smillie.

With thousands of visitors and international audiences turning their attention towards the hundreds of golfers set to compete at Millbrook Resort, there’s no shortage of content to cover over tournament week.

With the students on board, the New Zealand Open team can focus on groups such as volunteers, community events, caddies and ambassadors to add “life and colour” to their coverage.

Wakatipu High School media studies co-ordinator Geoff Bird says involvement in the event and learning vital skills for a future in media gives the students an impressive head start in their chosen career path. 

“It’s great to see our students put their practical skills and talent to work, and we’re delighted with the opportunity the New Zealand Open has offered them,” says Bird.

“Having worked on an event of this calibre means they have a head start on their CV and a portfolio of work to show to prospective employers.”

With the chance to stretch their creative muscles on the golf course, the students will take to the greens armed with camera equipment and spend the week snapping compelling shots.

New Zealand Open Marketing Manager Mike Hadnett says he was incredibly impressed by the talent and initiative demonstrated by students at last year’s event and is excited to have this year’s cohort back on the team.

“The students were proactive, showed initiative and were amazingly talented, so we can’t wait to give Jack, Jack and Felix some real-life experience working in the media industry.”

The 103rd New Zealand Open presented by Sky Sport tees off at Millbrook Resort in Queenstown on Thursday February 29.

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