Born to teacher-coach parents, Gordon Paterson’s life work has been in education. After his schooling in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal, he spent a year on exchange in New Zealand before completing a degree in Physical Education and Geography at Stellenbosch University, followed later by a Higher Education Diploma at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg.
Gordon was appointed to teach Physical Education and Geography at Michaelhouse, an independent school in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Educating through playful human movement was his primary interest resulting in his returning to University to complete Honours and Masters qualifications, both achieved with distinction. His relentless pursuit to create optimal learning environments outside the classroom saw him introduce Human Kinetics to replace Physical Education as a subject at Michaelhouse, where he taught and coached for a period of fourteen years, including his two year sabbatical. He was nicknamed “Floyd” by the students – was it after the boxer (Patterson) or his pink face (Pink Floyd) following shoulder stands in the parallel bars?
His interest extended to youth sport coaching with his search for optimal coaching strategies designed to maximise the educational value of enjoyment in school sport. This latter search resulted in his doctoral thesis that focused on coaching strategies conducive to enhancing the self-esteem of participants in school sport. This research commenced during his 5-year term post-Michaelhouse as a lecturer in the educational aspects of Human Movement Studies at Stellenbosch University.
Gordon and his wife Helene immigrated with their two young children to New Zealand in 1994 where he spent his first eleven years at the Waikato Institute of Technology in Hamilton. After commencing as a lecturer in sport coaching he progressed through the role of Head of School, Sport and Exercise Science to become Dean of the Faculty of Business and Technology. Gordon then established Ad Rem International Limited, an education consultancy he and Helene run as co-directors before returning for an 18-month stint at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in Tauranga as Head of School, Applied Science.
In November 2008 he was appointed as CEO of Physical Education New Zealand (PENZ), the national association for Physical Educators, a position he held for five years before returning to Ad Rem International Limited in February 2014. His first project has been the completion and publication of “There is Genius in Passion”.
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