One of those memorable days

The University of Canberra held its graduation ceremony at the Australian Institute of Sport Arena on Wednesday, 9 October 2019 (link). It is a memorable day for everyone concerned and a day for families to celebrate together.

It was that kind of day for Finn, Paul and Robin. All three graduated as Doctors of Philosophy of the University. It was a perfect setting for them. Each of them had spent a great deal of time at the Institute in their professional lives and in a sense I thought the day was about them coming home.

It is a day that lives in everyone’s memory and that is talked about proudly and modestly.

Finn Marsland

Finn’s thesis title is Macro-kinematic performance analysis in cross-country skiing competition using micro-sensors. His research “lays the groundwork for future research and practical applications, which could include daily training monitoring, course profiling, evaluation of sub-technique efficiency, and similar algorithm development for the Freestyle technique”. For me it was a wonderful example of a coach thinking about and transforming performance (link). In the process, Finn produced a number of much-cited papers.

Paul Perkins

Paul’s thesis is titled Can a modified, low-risk form of boxing achieve significant communiity uptake? (Link). The completion of the thesis marked a special journey for Paul. He was able to combine his love of movement with an increasing discovery of academic rigour. Like Finn and Robin the process of becoming a Doctor of Philosophy changed Paul. In partnership with his primary supervisor, Allan Hahn, Paul produced a number of papers that enriched our understanding of movement in general and box tag in particular.

Robin Poke

The title of Robin’s thesis is A Narrative History of Australian Rowing 1770-2016 (link). It represents the culmination of a five decade involvement in rowing in the United Kingdom and in Australia. Robin came to the graduation day after a morning row on Lake Burley Griffin with his colleagues in a Masters’ boat. His thesis is to be developed into a two volume history of rowing to be published in late 2019.

Professor David Pyne took the pictures of the happy graduates. I was unable to be at the ceremony but I was able to doff my hat to each of them in my absence. David and I were delighted to be part of the day physically and vicariously. It is one of those days that stays forever. As do the smiles and joy the ceremony brings to graduates and families.

It is one of those memorable, special days.

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