Making the most of a move south

Oamaru vet Celia Van Kampen enjoys the variety of her work. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN
Oamaru vet Celia Van Kampen enjoys the variety of her work. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN
Life is a balancing act for Celia Van Kampen. The Oamaru vet tells Rebecca Ryan how she successfully fits her busy sporting schedule in around her work.

What’s your background?  Where are you from?

I grew up in the Hawke’s Bay as one of four kids. I went to school at Taikura Rudolf Steiner School, then studied veterinary science at Massey University in Palmerston North, graduating in 2018, then I moved straight from studying down here. Ihave been working at the Veterinary Centre Oamaru for just over a year and a half. Istarted in January 2019.

Had you always wanted to be a vet?
I was quite young when I decided that becoming avet was a good idea. I can’t remember exactly what my reasons were then, but as I got closer to finishing school I liked that being a vet you got to work with lots of different species, the challenge of trying to work out what was wrong and fix it. Now, I really enjoy the variation of getting outside and work with farmers, but also small animals case work-ups and surgery.

What brought you to Oamaru?
I was keen to move to the South Island to explore it more, because coming from the North Island I hadn’t spent much time down south. The attraction of the job in Oamaru was that it was a mixed job.

I wanted to work with both small and large animals, and they hire new graduate vets each year and had a good programme in place to support new graduates.

Do you specialise, or enjoy, any particular area of work?
I haven’t really specialised yet. I still enjoy the variety of doing a bit of everything.

Outside of work, you’re involved in a lot of different sporting pursuits —where does your passion for sport and the outdoors come from?
Probably from family —we have always been an active family with all of us into various sports.

I have played netball since primary school, which is the main team sport I play. I played for school teams, and club and rep netball, while at school, then I played netball for Massey while I was studying there. The other main sport I doduring the winter is skiing, which I try squeeze in between netball.

Periodically I have got into long-distance running, and I have done two marathons and a couple of half marathons.

My first marathon was the Rotorua marathon in my last year of high school. Most recently, I did the Motatapu marathon. I also really enjoy tramping, which is something we did a bit of as kids growing up.

While I’m down south I have been ticking off the Great Walks. This summer I am going to play tennis for the first time which I’m pretty hopeless at, but it should be a laugh. And I am trying to learn how to surf, but currently suck at it.

You’ve got right into netball in Oamaru. How did you link up with the Valley Netball Club, and how did you find your debut for North Otago this year?
One of the other vets at work was playing for Valley when I moved down here. I knew I wanted to play netball and Valley sounded like a really good club. Playing for North Otago was awhole new level ofnetball and I really enjoyed it. The games were much faster and higher intensity. It was a great experience.

How do you manage to juggle work and so many extracurricular activities?
It can be difficult to fit all the things I want to around work, but work is really good at being flexible with time off for adventures, and being a larger clinic the on-call roster is pretty reasonable.

What does the future hold for you?
Once I have some more experience I would like to go overseas and travel and work for a while. After that, I’m not too sure.

I guess I will just see where opportunities take me. You never know what will come up if you keep an open mind.

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