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Fellowship offering opportunities abroad

Ian McDonald is a Greytown-based board member of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. PHOTO/FILE

A fellowship touting overseas travel and learning opportunities is now open for applicants.

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust gives funding to New Zealanders hoping to study abroad and bring expertise back home.

Ian McDonald, a former recipient of the fellowship, said his time with US-based baseball teams in 2018 was “crazy” but invaluable.

The Greytown-based baseball uber-fan spent three weeks studying major-league baseball communications in New York.

He said the innerworkings of baseball management were eye-opening, “like going back 15 years”, and downtown Manhattan was an experience itself.

“There is the same number of people on the street at midnight as midday.”

McDonald said the fellowship motivated him to become a trust board member.

“I emailed them about a year ago to say I was interested, purely because of what I got out of the fellowship.”

He was appointed and is now advocating for others to take the same opportunity and said people of all ages and interests could apply.

“I was 55 when I applied, but it’s open to anyone. A lot of teenagers apply.

“I was able to bring that knowledge from New York and apply it to New Zealand Baseball and the Auckland Tuataras. It was a great help to the local baseball scene.”

McDonald said he used the skills he learned until he left Baseball New Zealand and bought the Greyfriars Motel in Greytown

“I learnt about building trust with media organisations. I also brought back knowledge about marketing ticket sales and who to market to.

“You can use it to upskill in anything. It could be the journey of the feijoa from South America to New Zealand or learning about setting up housing in impoverished areas.”

McDonald’s advice to applicants was to give as much information as possible and “be passionate”.

This year, the trust will offer two fellowships, the Winston Churchill Fellowship and the Winston Churchill McNeish Writer’s Fellowship.

The McNeish Writer’s Fellowship was aimed at encouraging young and emerging writers and journalists to immerse themselves in another culture.

The trust said the fellowship would enable writers from New Zealand to travel and shift their horizons and “on returning, look at their homeland with fresh eyes”.

Board chair Joy Tracey said the trust welcomed applications from people from all walks of life who come from different professions, industries, regions, ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds.

“When developing proposals and itineraries, applicants should consider the immense learning potential from cultures and experiences in the Pacific and Asia region as well as Europe, North America, and the United Kingdom.”

Applications for the 2022 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowships will close on August 24.

Helen Holt
Helen Holt
Helen Holt is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age and enjoys reporting on a variety of topics, regularly covering Wairarapa events, tourism, local businesses, and the occasional health story.

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