Brad Mayo: Being a key point of difference
by Michael Pulman
Brad Mayo is a Wintec graduate who was willing to put in the hard yards early, and it has paid off with both a wealth of knowledge and respect in the industry.
Mayo graduated from Wintec with a Bachelor of Sports and Exercise Science and then returned to complete his honors, finishing his studies in 2013 at Rotokauri campus.
Mayo worked closely with his mentor Dr Pete Maulder, and Mayo says the Wintec lecturer helped him massively throughout his time studying.
"I enjoyed it just because of the hands-on experience, I would recommend Wintec to anyone keen to do sports science," Mayo said.
Mayo brings a lot of what he learnt from his time at Wintec to his job with Waikato Rugby, especially the hands on approach. Mayo often takes some of the players in the Mooloos squad out to the facilities at the Rotokauri campus to run tests.
Something that may go unnoticed with Mayo is his commitment to excellence in his work, and it started with an approach to pushing himself into the industry that few others would dare to take.
Mayo did two years unpaid work with the Waikato Rugby Union while studying, but Mayo says it paid off in the long run because he was willing to put in so much time for no compensation. Mayo also worked at a gym during this period.
"It’s like anything, it is about what you put in, if you are not prepared to put [the time] in there won’t be a job for you at the end of the day," Mayo said.
Mayo works up to 12 hours per day, starting in the early hours of the morning and spending the day working on various aspects with the players in Waikato’s ITM Cup squad and other representative sides.
Mayo says the short turnaround between games is a big challenge for everyone involved at Waikato Rugby.
"Our campaign is quite condensed, and for some players who have come down from Super Rugby, they come to ITM Cup level and it is a different setup altogether," Mayo said.
Mayo says that students who are studying need to show initiative, get hours under their belt, and explore areas where opportunities may be available. Mayo believes making good connections is critical, and the use of a mentor can help as well.
Mayo says that the most rewarding part of his job is the friendships with the players he works with, and the ability to be close to the game of rugby that has always been a big passion for the 27-year old.