‘Number Crunching” Gives Insight Into IronMāori

A final year EIT student is helping IronMāori to become more strategic in its future marketing efforts by in-depth analysis of past participant data. As a Bachelor of Recreation and Sport student, Nikayla Lambert has to complete a 150-hour practicum placement and over this year, she has been working with IronMāori organisers who run tri and duathlon events around New Zealand, to gain an insight into key information around participants. Ten years ago, 270 people participated in the inaugural event. In 2018, over 2500 people are expected at the IronMāori Quarter event – a 1km run-45km cycle-10.5km run – held at Pandora Pond on 3 November. While that increase is significant, IronMāori organisers are keen to be more strategic with future marketing efforts, but to date haven’t had the resources to analyse the four years of data that has been collected. Enter Nikayla. By the time she has completed her report in October, IronMāori’s Heather Skipworth and Lee Grace will be able to see the big picture of who they are attracting, from where, and what opportunities there may be to reach more of the same, or those missing from the current demographics. Top line data shows that the average age participant is 46 years old; ages range from 5 to 94; 60 percent are women; and 80 percent are Māori. Interestingly one age group noticeably under represented is Nikayla’s own – 18 to 24 year olds. As part of her work, she is surveying participants and will be asking for ideas on how to attract that age group. Putting faces to the numbers, Nikayla has been joining in some of the training programmes that IronMāori runs locally, and has been quite surprised at the fitness levels. “I was the youngest in the pump class and man it was hard.” She’s also signed up (had her arm twisted, says Lee) to participate in the Hawke’s Bay Women’s Duathlon event, a first for her, and she’s starting to wonder what she’s let herself in for! But she feels supported. “Everyone is so friendly, at the classes and here in the office. It feels like family.” That feeling of connection was what drew her to IronMāori. “I didn’t know what to do for my practicum but I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and do something new, different.” EIT sets up a ‘speed networking’ type forum of about 40 potential practicum organisations and Year 2 and 3 students at the beginning of the study year. Students get a short time to chat with those potentials and both parties assess each other for ‘fit’. “I was intrigued by IronMāori, I wanted to learn more about what they did and the more I learned, I wanted to be part of it. Maori life expectancy is about eight years lower than pākehā and IronMāori is helping to change that. I want to help.” For Heather and Lee, having EIT students around has been invigorating. In addition to Nikayla, a Year 2 student, Truman Stuart has spent time there as part of his studies. “We have found their enthusiasm and youthful energy really positive,” said Lee. “It’s great to get feedback from a younger view point.” “Being involved with EIT provides opportunities both ways, for the students and us,” said Heather. “Opportunities evolve during the relationship, we got to know Nikayla more and her age helped us fill what we were lacking in in terms of the market.” Photo: IronMāori founder and CEO Heather Skipworth is looking forward to opening future doors armed with the insights provided by EIT student, Nikayla Lambert. Posted: 30 September 2018