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Otago Polytechnic graduate Thamooh Saeed, now head of the Maldives Olympic Committee, has some advice for current learners: get stuck in.

Thamooh graduated with a Diploma in Sports Management and Coaching from Otago Polytechnic in the mid-2000s before embarking on a challenging, yet rewarding, career path that has taken him from Dunedin to the Tokyo Olympics.

“The road from Otago Polytechnic to my current position has been a long and hard journey. It has included many struggles but also opened many doors,” Thamooh reflects from Tokyo.

Interested in sport from an early age, Thamooh went on to represent the Maldives as part of its national table tennis squad. But it was while working as a Sports Development Officer for the Maldives Ministry of Youth and Sports that he learned of Otago Polytechnic’s Sport and Exercise-related programmes.

“After graduating from Otago Polytechnic, I returned to the Maldives Ministry of Youth and Sports and later joined the Maldives Olympic Committee, which paved the way to get even more training in coaching through the Olympic Solidarity International Table Tennis Federation.

Thamooh, who also completed a Postgraduate Degree at the University of Greenwich, says his role as Secretary General of the Maldives Olympic Committee entails overseeing the operations of the organisation.

“A lot of my work also revolves around lobbying on behalf of the organization to seek assistance in funding and sporting development, as well as represent the MOC at various international events and conferences.

“As much as I love sport, I love imparting the knowledge and experience I have gained to others, especially the younger generation.

“I’d encourage current students to get involved in community, sporting and other opportunities as much as they can,” Thamooh says.

“While I was at Otago Polytechnic, I coached a few primary school teams, did volunteer work as a coder for the Otago Rugby Football Union, worked as a volunteer at the Uni Games, and did as much community work as I could. These experiences are invaluable as you go out into the ‘real world’.”


Published on 5 Aug 2021

Orderdate: 5 Aug 2021
Expiry: 31 Dec 2021