Top international athlete and UC student Angela Smit manages dual challenge
August 2, 2013
Few University of Canterbury (UC) students fit their studies around an international sporting career. Top New Zealand
middle distance athlete Angela Smit is one.
Smit, who is studying a Bachelor of Arts in Education, is New Zealand’s number one ranked 800m track athlete. She
finished fifth last weekend in the World Diamond League meeting at the London Olympic Stadium, in front of 68,000 fans.
She now heads to Moscow for the World Championships from August 10 to 18.
``I really like the training / study lifestyle as it is a good mix to keep my brain stimulated and body active and fast.
It can be full on at times, especially when I have a training schedule and some big races and a lot of university work
to do at the same time.
``I just try to prioritise as best I can and get it done. It has been really good doing only two or three papers a
semester so that I can manage study and competing better.
``I had to sit an exam in Paris two years ago which was a cool experience Normally I only miss a few weeks of UC studies
while competing in the European season. But this year I am staying in England till the end of the year and world
championships are just 10 days away. But I will be back to UC early next year where I will continue my degree.
``I really want to be a primary school teacher and help the future generation. I love children. But I don't mind if it
takes me slightly longer to get my degree as my running is definitely a huge priority for me right now. I have some big
goals and want to be an Olympic medallist.
``UC Sport and the University of Canterbury Athletic Club has been a huge help to my running. Matt Ingram and Grant
Robertson have managed the new athletes development programme really well and are running some great workshops.
``The University of Canterbury Athletic Club is really awesome to be a part of since I joined three years ago.
``My athletics can help me with my teaching degree and vice versa. My athletics experiences can help me as a teacher to
help children follow their dreams and my story can help them realise that they can do it if they put the work in.
``I love being a part of UC because it has got awesome degree programmes and study facilities, very helpful and friendly
lecturers, a nice campus with a very lively atmosphere, a good gym and sport structure, lots of fun events and a lot of
Smit, who will turn 22 during the world championships in Moscow, finished fourth in the 800 metres and fifth in the
1500m at the World University Games in Kazan this year.
UC’s Angela Smit running at the London Olympic Stadium.