Bachelor of Therapeutic Sports Massage student Aleina Beer was brought up on a sheep farm in Mossburn, and attended Northern Southland College.
From there, she went to Otago University, where she studied anatomy and several science papers. After 18 months at Otago, Aleina decided to head home and start studying at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) in Invercargill.
“Zero Fees was a big incentive, but I also liked the idea of a qualification that was more hands on and allowed me to help people.
“I thoroughly enjoy massage and continuing to learn about the body,” she says.
Although Aleina had heard about SIT at high school, she had no real expectations of the institute.
“I loved it.
“Compared to university, it is very individualised learning.
“The tutors become invested and care about every student passing.”
Aleina also loved the facilities, including the massage room.
“It was a welcoming, warm, comfortable environment to learn in,” she says.
“I also enjoyed the placements in Southland at physios, clinics, the hospital, and working with sports teams.”
Zero Fees, small classes, tutors that care, compared to university
Although she found it difficult juggling work, sport and study, Aleina says it was all worthwhile as she now has a job in the industry and further possibilities.
“I work as a part-time massage therapist and have a job opportunity in Queenstown.”
Each day Aleina works with general patients as well as top athletes from around New Zealand, including the Highlanders and Tour of Southland cyclists.
In five years she hopes to travel with a top sports team, continue working, learning and developing her skills to become one of the best massage therapists in the country.