Skills Active scholarship winners growing the skill base

Published 10 February 2022
Skills Active is thrilled to celebrate Eric Schusser at Snow Farm, and Flyers Swim School of Stratford, through its 2021 Volunteer and Small Business scholarships.

As the transitional industry training organisation for recreation, exercise, sport and performing arts, Skills Active provides these scholarships to support top notch workplaces that develop their staff and their sectors through the use of formal industry training.

Eric Schusser is the recipient of the Volunteer Development Scholarship, which recognises amazing volunteers in our industries, as well as the people who support them. Eric (pictured above with his award) is an assessor of cross-country ski instructors at the Snow Farm alpine ski area in Queenstown Lakes.

Not only is he helping the Snow Farm team – both volunteers and paid staff – through a qualification pathway, but he also worked jointly with Skills Active on developing the pathway itself.

Thanks to the efforts of Eric and others at Snow Farm, more people of all ages will be able to gain the benefits of being active, enjoying the stunning alpine environment, and developing mastery in this peaceful, challenging and unique sport. The scholarship comes with a trophy and a $500 grant towards future Skills Active enrolments for the organisation.

The Small Business Scholarship has gone to Flyers Swim School in Stratford, which is owned and run by Aimee Woodhead (pictured above on the left receiving her award from her learning support advisor Angie Gooch). This award is open to small employers who demonstrate a commitment to enriching the knowledge and skills of their staff, and it comes with a trophy and a $1500 grant towards future enrolments.

Aimee has a hands-on approach to supporting her swim teacher apprentices – including lots of one-on-one help, coordinating courses, tasks and paperwork, and even creating online forms to help them fill out their written assessments.

The scholarship recognises her hard mahi and the wraparound support she provided, growing the pool of highly qualified teachers, and strengthening the swim education sector.

“Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou to Aimee, Eric and their teams!” says Skills Active chief operating officer Maren Frerichs.

“Having a qualified workforce in te ahumahi ā-rēhia – the recreation and leisure sectors – is so important in these times. We can all benefit from staying healthy, learning skills and being active in our communities,” Ms Frerichs says.

“Professionals like Eric and Aimee are leading lights in our sectors, showing the way to build up individuals and organisations, and delivering professional development through real-life learning.

“We’re sending them both a big old ‘good on ya!’ for helping the ahumahi ā-rēhia workforce to step up and flourish with an enhanced skill base.”


Media contact for Skills Active: Esther McLaren | | 021 195 5127

Skills Active Aotearoa is the transitional industry training organisation for recreation, exercise, sport and performing arts. We are a non-profit organisation, 50% owned by Māori shareholders, and funded by government to support Aotearoa businesses, organisations, iwi and community enterprises to get their staff and volunteers trained and qualified.