A change of angle
James McMillan has a passion for helping people with disabilities.
There’s such a variety of topics that you cover that makes the programme so interesting, and the placements were a real eye opener.
Former Otago Volts Cricket team member James McMillan learnt a lot about rehabilitating the body after injury during his 15 years as a first class player. The veteran bowler had a reputation of being one of the fastest on the domestic cricket scene, but he suffered repeated shoulder injuries, stress fractures and torn ligaments as a result, and had long periods off the field and away from his team mates.
“It’s made me much more empathetic and given me a much better understanding of what people go through when they’re injured and can’t earn a living. It can be very tough.”
In the off season, James worked as a support person in gyms and for an occupational therapy company, and found he had a passion for helping people with disabilities.
“I used to help this guy who had locked-in syndrome, he’d come into the gym and a few of us would help him do his workout. It was inspirational watching him, he had so much focus and determination; it kept pushing my interest in occupational therapy.”
This year, the 37 year old father of two young children decided it was time to think about life after professional cricket and a career change.
“I heard good things about the Occupational Therapy programme at Otago Polytechnic, so I went to a few of their open nights, met some of the tutors and it seemed a perfect fit.”
James says it’s a challenge studying full time, working as a personal trainer and being a Dad but it’s made him more focused.
“There’s such a variety of topics that you cover that makes the programme so interesting, and the placements were a real eye opener. I really enjoy it and the people you meet."
This exciting programme includes fieldwork placements and will lead to registration as an Occupational Therapist in New Zealand. It is also recognised by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. Our July intake is part-time only and two courses are available - Building Cultural Competence, and Human Mind and Behaviour. You will then complete the remaining Year One courses from February next year.