Rugby World Cup winner Aaron Cruden is being offered an award to study at Massey University so he can combine his rugby career with tertiary education.
The All Blacks first five-eighth is being presented with the award at his hometown reception from University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey.
Mr Maharey says he hopes it will encourage the 22-year-old rugby star to take up a degree at Massey through the extramural programme.
The award offers fees up to the equivalent of a first year of full-time study and is worth up to $5000.
While money is unlikely to matter for the Palmerston North hero, who receives a reported $50,000 bonus as part of the team that won the Webb Ellis trophy, he will be only too aware that elite sportspeople are only one injury away from not playing again. He left the field in the final against France 30 minutes into the match with a knee injury and is now on crutches.
Mr Maharey says the award is a one-off to say congratulations to Cruden on his success, to wish him well in his recovery and thank him for his contribution to the university town of Palmerston North and New Zealand.
“It will give Aaron the opportunity to pursue his sporting career while investing in his future through study,” he says. “Massey is the university of choice for many of the country’s elite athletes who study through the distance learning programme and we hope Aaron will join us.”
Mr Maharey says Massey had heard Cruden mention that if he was not an All Black he would like to be a student. “This way he can be both.”
The homecoming event – dubbed Cruden Zone – is being organised by Palmerston North company Blacksheepdesign.
Created: 27/10/2011 | Last updated: 01/11/2011
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