Mainlander comes north...
Adrian Riepen.
Schools & Education
Tag: Health, Fitness & Wellbeing, Interviews, Sports, Youth

Mainlander comes north...
I Love What I Do... Adrian Riepen, PE Teacher, Takapuna Grammar

Adrian Riepen is one of the newer teachers at Takapuna Grammar. At a time when we hear that many teachers are moving to the regions, he's come the other way. Moved to the big smoke from the South Island. He's a Physical Education and Health teacher at Takapuna Grammar. As well as teaching Health and Physical Education, he's also teaching two unique class that Takapuna Grammar offers its students. These are Institute of Sport and Practical Physical Education. He is also a senior rowing coach at TGS. Adrian grew up in the top of the South Island in Nelson. He attended Nelson College. Growing up, his playground was the Marlborough Sounds. From there he went on to university. He was first enrolled at the University of Canterbury in 2010. However after a few days of attending lectures the February 20th earthquake struck. Since the University was closed, that weekend he drove to Dunedin to catch up with  mates. He spent the weekend sleeping on his best friends couch on the infamous Castle Street and was blown away with the atmosphere and thought the place was pretty cool. An opportunity to enroll for a semester came up, so he took it. Four year later he left with by Bachelor of Physical Education. Afterwards he completed a Graduate Diploma in Teaching at the New Zealand Graduate School of Education. Aidan Bennett put these questions to him during March.

AIDAN BENNETT: What made you come to Auckland and the North Shore?
It was because Mary Nixon (Principal) and Lucy Perry (Head of PE) gave me an opportunity to be a PE teacher at Takapuna Grammar School.

AB: This is going against the trend a bit for teachers. We hear some are fleeing the big smoke due to the house prices?
Yes, I have read this in the media and the data shows an increase in the average house price too. However the opportunity at Takapuna Grammar School was too good to turn down just because of Auckland house prices.

AB: Bought a house yet?
No I am not yet in a position to do so, however it is at the top of the wish list to buy.

AB: i understand you have dabbled with being a chef as well?
Yes, while I was at Nelson College, we had a passionate Food and Hospitality teacher. He gave me an insight into being a Chef. At one point I was close to pursuing a career as a chef, however PE Teaching was what I chose. Most summer holidays I would find a summer job in the kitchen as a chef. Cannot recommend C1 Espresso in Christchurch enough – a great cafe!

AB: How long have you been into your sport?
All my life. Ever since primary school my parents gave me opportunities to sample many different sports. Having an older sister meant there was a bit of competition. We did a lot of swimming when we were younger. Later on, Dad got us into Kiteboarding, which meant we spent our summer holidays down at the local Nelson beach waiting for the wind to pick up.
I currently enjoy the challenges of long distance triathlons (or more commonly known as Ironman’s - 3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run) and marathon and ultra running (more than 42.2km of running). Last year I raced at Challenge Wanaka (long distance triathlons race). It doubled as the New Zealand Ultra Distance Trialthon Champs. I finished third in my age group. I would love to get into more multisport and adventure racing. Events like the Coast to Coast and GODZone look epic.

AB: A google search turned up Running, Hockey, and Rowing as well?
During High School and my first year of University I played Hockey. My role in the team was as a defender. I really enjoyed playing especially the team dynamics and strategies. Especially playing for Nelson College with great mates and tournament weeks were always the best.
I picked up rowing at the end of High School. I felt I had a successful stint at it. I was twice selected to represented New Zealand University versus Australia in a test series. Also I spent a seasons as a member of Central Regional Performance Center, where I was third in the under 21 and 22 Eight. When I rowed with the Otago Uni, we won then defined on home water the Hebberley Shield – the New Zealand University Men’s Rowing Eight race.
Running is something I got into at the end of University. I entered a 50km mountain run in Cromwell. I then entered an 80 km run in Naseby, which I managed to win. I have also finished a 84.4km run through Molesworth Station and a number of marathons.

AB: What is the main thing you find different than the South Island?
The main difference I find from living in places like Nelson and Dunedin is they are gifted with great hills close to home. I would find myself leaving home for a run and being spoilt with trails to choose from. I could go for a run from home in no time you could be straight into the hills. Also the traffic – but we don’t need to talk about that!

AB: What does training look like during an average week?AR: When Rowing coaching ends for the season a typical week may look like four mornings a week, two or three in the evening and a big day on Sunday. Morning session are either an hour run or on the indoor bike before school. In the evening a road cycle or a swim and some core, stretching, foam rolling. On the weekend a four to six hour ride or an hour swim and two to three hour run are on the cards. However what I have found is training is the first thing that drops away if there is school work, coaching or my partner has flown up from Wellington.

AB: Does it help being a PE teacher? Must be a dream job for such a keen sportsman?
Being a Physical Education teacher and passionate about sports I believe is a win win - I love my job. I am able to teach students about the the Health and Physical Education curriculum and draw on a lot of my own experiences and knowledge and share them with my students. The staff in the Physical Education department at Takapuna Grammar School are great to work alongside too, because we share the same passion and they have so much knowledge and are really supportive. Also, through my degree I am also able to use that knowledge and skills in coaching and my own personal sports, such as training programs and methods.

AB: Does having a doctor for your partner help at all?
We both have an understanding of the human body which is useful. If I ever run into trouble she is great to go see and get advice or treatment from.

AB: You are a PE teacher at TGS what other things are you involved in at the school?
I am a senior rowing coach for the Takapuna Grammar School Rowing team. It's one way I am able to make a positive contribution to the life of the school. My personal long term goal for Takapuna Grammar School Rowing is to evolve it into one of New Zealand’s Secondary Schools top performing Rowing Schools. I feel this is achievable because currently we have very passionate and hardworking people throughout the club and we are seeing the initial results of this work.

By Aidan Bennett
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Channel Magazine: Issue 75 April 2017

Shore People articles by Aidan Bennett