Ex-Black Cap graduates an MBA
A black cap of a different kind was the focus of former New Zealand cricket star Shane Bond this week.
The fast-bowling legend was among the hundreds of Massey University students donning graduation caps to mark the end of their studies in Palmerston North yesterday.
Bond received his Masters of Business Administration after researching the different governance structures and models in professional sport - focusing on Canterbury and New Zealand cricket compared to other international codes.
Another 487 students graduated with him, including 40 who received doctoral degrees, 125 masters and another 322 who had their qualifications conferred.
Bond did a year at teachers' college, with the aim of being a PE teacher, and another on a commerce degree, but chucked it in for a career at the crease.
Graduation was a long time coming, but proved that perseverance paid off, he said.
"It's the one thing I regretted not doing, an undergrad degree. I did bits and bobs but just never finished it, so getting a tertiary qualification is something I'm really proud of and to finally have the degree in your hands is just an awesome feeling."
After retiring in 2010, upskilling from being more than a professional sportsplayer was the next goal.
"You can always go down the coaching road, but I wanted other options as well," he said.
Bond, while juggling a coaching appointment from New Zealand and a lot of overseas travel, finished his thesis in April.
"I was lucky because cricket taught me time management, but balancing work with family and life's other stresses made for some long days."
With another 18 months left in his coaching contract, he hasn't ruled anything out yet. But given New Zealand Cricket's well-publicised governance issues, Bond's research project into should prove useful if he stays with the sport in the long term.
"I don't know what it is yet that I truly want to do, I'm still getting over all the travelling, which counts up to about 10 to 12 years in total, but hopefully a degree will give me more options, whether that's in or out of cricket."
More than 6800 people graduated from Massey this year, making a tally of more than 127,000 alumni.