Boardsailing Olympian Barbara Kendall prepares to graduate
with a double degree from Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin
yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Barbara Kendall says her graduation with a double degree
from Otago Polytechnic comes with a familiar sense of relief.
''It's like winning a gold medal - there is a sense of calm
and satisfaction. It's like `phew','' she said.
Ms Kendall (45) was among 55 Capable NZ students, and about
650 others from Otago Polytechnic, to graduate in Dunedin
She completed a graduate diploma in applied management and
bachelor of social services in career practice degree, 25
years after leaving high school at the end of her sixth-form
Dressed in a gown, with mortar board in hand, she said the
experience was surreal.
''It's quite amazing. It's something I thought I would only
see in the movies.
''It's been 25 years since I was in a formal education
institution and I always wanted to have a degree but never
thought it would be possible.''
Ms Kendall, of Whangaparaoa, was asked by the polytechnic to
talk at the graduation ceremony and decided to ''wing it''
without a prepared speech.
She said being qualified gave her confidence, despite her
many career achievements.
''It gives you credibility. It's the respect you get from
having a real qualification.''
Ms Kendall studied extramurally while coaching in London and
travelling throughout the last year.
She finished over the Christmas holidays and was looking
forward to a family holiday in Queenstown with her husband
Shayne Bright and their daughters Samantha (11) and Aimee
The family celebrated her graduation with a night at Larnach
Castle while in Dunedin.
Ms Kendall said she would ''wait a few years'' before
deciding whether to undertake a master's degree.