It’s easy to feel out of breath just watching Clint Parsons put his students through a gruelling series of high intensity training drills.
The former corporal with the Royal New Zealand Army is running his tauira (students) through box jumps, burpees, shuttle runs and battle ropes as part of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa’s Police Career Preparation Programme in Gisborne.
The 38-week programme helps potential police recruits ready themselves to apply for entry to police college.
Tauira are guided through academic subjects such as maths, literacy and how to do psychometric testing.
They learn the importance of working individually or as a team member in difficult situations, policing theory, public speaking and communication including how to de-escalate potentially volatile situations.
“Communication plays a huge part in our training, as does team work and individual learning,” says Clint who has trained and prepared rescue swimmers and armed offender squad members.
“This is important because when our recruits do go to police college they’re having to learn a lot about the law.”
Serving police officers are also a big part of the programme and share their experiences about what life on the force is like and what potential recruits can expect.
Clint says physical fitness is an important pre-requisite for tauira considering police college.
Tauira are required to follow a structured physical fitness program which includes cardiovascular fitness, strength, and circuit training.
“The guys wanting to enter police college have to do a 2.4km run in 10.15 and the ladies have to do it in 11.15,” says Clint.
While the course is primarily aimed at helping people gain entry in to the police and its 16-week NZ Police College training programme, it’s also for those considering careers elsewhere.
“The skills our tauira learn here are transferrable across Defence forces, Customs, Corrections and Security – but for most people who join this programme it’s to get in to the police,” says Clint.