Meet Mary - a valued student intern

Mary - a valued student intern completes her work experience with BBM Motivation.


Mary Tutagalevao is of Cook Islands descent and is studying a Bachelor of Applied Sports Science and Exercise at Manukau Institute of Technology SOS (School of Sport). It’s been awesome to have her as a student intern at our BBM Head Quarters in Manukau for the past two months. 

During her placement, Mary completed 60 hours of work experience and has played an instrumental role in supporting our team with our Foodbank/redistribution service and Free BBM Community Bootcamps.

Here are a few questions we asked Mary about her experience.

What made you choose this career path?

I have been heavily involved in all types of different sports throughout my life.

I grew up watching my older brothers’ games, going to trainings with them and even playing against them. Over the years sports and fitness has developed into a passion and love. Almost my entire life has revolved around sports, trainings, games, competitions, injury rehabs, etc. It has helped develop within me, important life skills, social skills and motivation.  

What made me choose this career had a lot to do with the love I have for it, and the love I have for people in our communities, and my experience I have gained over the years.

Part of your studies involved work placement, how did that bring you to BBM?

I noticed BBM online, it was their Heavyweight Champs program that was helping and training individuals with different health conditions, men and women, of all different age groups, of all different backgrounds. When I heard personal testimonies of many individuals regarding their weight and health journey, I knew I wanted to do my placement with BBM. I emailed BBM, introduced myself and asked if I was able to do my practicum with BBM, and I was approved.

Why did I want to come to BBM?

I saw the difference BBM makes in people’s lives, the love and support for these communities, particularly individuals with health conditions. I wanted to be a part of it, I wanted to learn, help anywhere needed and be hands-on.

What did you not know before BBM?

The food bank service BBM provides, non-funded, providing meal plans, provide free fitness classes. Konga classes, I had no idea what Konga is. 
The operation of the entire team, due to COVID19 Lockdown adapting to online workouts, learning new software as we moved from level 3, then to level 2. I have learnt a bit of everything, from organising and preparing food bank parcels, helping in the office, being apart of team meetings regarding boot camp programs, filming workouts and announcements, joining in on workouts. Helping out with BBM's From the Couch program, conducting waist and hips ratio and weight measurements.

What are you hoping to do once you graduate?

I want to work with people like the participants of BBM’s From the Couch program, special populations, vulnerable communities and the elderly.

What are some of your learnings or thoughts during your placement?

I appreciate BBM dedication, commitment and sacrifice it takes to operate and provide an important, transformational, life-changing service for the community. I didn’t realise the amount of time and work it takes to operate. BBM has helped me understand that health is more than just exercise, it's nutrition health, it’s your mental and emotional health and spiritual health. How important these programs are to help change people’s lives, providing a positive, family environment.

BBM encourages me to want to be around this group of positive individuals all on the same journey towards improved health, gaining friendship, becoming healthier, stronger and fitter. 

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Dave for allowing me to be apart of the BBM program, and team, allowing me full access to the BBM team, programs and classes and treating me as a part of the BBM family. A special deep appreciation to Tino, the BBM admin who has taken me under her wing, allowing me to be her shadow, and having a deep appreciation for the amount of work she does. The total love and commitment she expresses for BBM Motivation and members. 
Special thank you BBM family.

Thank you, Mary

On behalf of the BBM Motivation team, we want to share our appreciation for Mary. She has been an amazing student and a huge help to our organisation. We humbly thank Mary for her time and service and wish her all the very best in completing her degree, it is her final year and we wish her all success in graduating in November. We know she will go on to do great things within her chosen career in Sports and Recreation.

Posted by Dave Letele on July 06, 2020