Paul says he was at the stage of navigating the process to transition from being an athlete to working when he reconnected with former sailor Garth, who had co-founded LUCK.E, an ethical and sustainable clothing company.
“I was working with Hannah McLean, HPSNZ’s PM’s Scholarship Internship programme lead, to approach businesses for an internship opportunity when I met with Garth who, as a former sailor, understood the demands of my sailing life but also recognised my need to embark on a career journey with an eye to the future,” says Paul.
Garth explains that he and LUCK.E co-founder Wilfried Weber were looking to increase their resource to help free up their time to focus on growing the business.
“I moved out of my sailing career four to five years ago and started LUCK.E because I wanted to create a business in New Zealand, one that connected with the very important values of ethical and sustainable product development and had its roots in the ocean,” says Garth.
“You could say meeting up with Paul, who I knew from sailing, through the HPSNZ internship programme was a godsend. We quickly recognised Paul’s talents and skillset, especially on the marketing and creative side, were complementary to those Wilfried and I bring to the business.
“As a small business a third pair of hands has had a massive effect. Basically we’ve increased our resource by one-third and Paul’s focus on marketing, creative and product development has allowed us to get back to our core skillset of running the business.”
An important part of making the relationship work has been understanding where each other is at, according to Paul.
“Garth understands where I’m at in my sailing career and without his flexibility I wouldn’t be able to have this amazing job opportunity and continue to sail competitively.”
And the message is reiterated by Garth. “It was very important from the start that we had honest conversations so we could all understand how Paul’s timetable fitted with his work for us.”
Funding from the PM’s Scholarship Internship programme enabled Paul to undertake a number of short courses such as graphic design which has added not just to his skillset but to the value he is able to bring to LUCK.E.
“Paul really pushed himself hard in the first six weeks to get some additional skills training under his belt before he headed overseas for a European sailing programme,” says Garth.
While applying his skills in the marketing and creative space, Paul says working for a small business like LUCK.E has also provided an opportunity for him to learn about all aspects of running a business.
“Another really important part of the puzzle for me is our shared values,” says Paul.
“LUCK.E describes itself as making clothing that cares and their approach to ethical and sustainable manufacture and marketing, underpinned by the principles of a circular economy totally match my values.”
Both Garth and Paul can’t speak highly enough of the HPSNZ PM’s Scholarship Internship programme which is a win/win for them both.
“The internship programme is a great initiative from HPSNZ connecting athletes and businesses,” says Garth.
Paul says quite simply he’s just really chuffed. “It’s the start of my working journey and the support I’ve had from not only Garth and Wilfried but from Hannah and the HPSNZ team is quite amazing.”
About the Prime Minister’s Scholarship Athlete Internship Programme
Following a successful first year of the pilot programme in 2022, the 2023 Prime Minister’s Scholarship Athlete Internship Pilot offers up to 10 paid internships to support athlete wellbeing and preparation for life after sport.
The internships provide an opportunity to help athletes sustain dual careers and explore options aligned to their interests and qualifications. Successful candidates will work with the HPSNZ Athlete Internship Lead to create an internship that suits them.