Q&A with Alumnus Graeme Aldridge
23 January 2017
Graeme Aldridge was one of our Sir Edmund Hillary inaugural scholarship recipients, and since his time at Waikato has achieved highly in both his sporting and professional career. Graeme studied a bachelor of teaching while at the University of Waikato, and is applying the skills he learned at university to his career. He is currently the pace bowling coach for the Northern Districts cricket team, the bowling coach for the Northern District Knights, and coach for the Bay of Plenty men’s cricket team which is proving to be a challenging yet rewarding experience.
Before his career as a cricket coach Graeme was, and still remains, one of Northern Districts top record holders, beginning his career in 1999. It was only in April of 2015 that Graeme hung up his boots and soon made the switch to coaching. Over his 16 year cricket career, Aldridge took more one day wickets than any player in New Zealand domestic history, and was selected for the Black Caps tour of Zimbabwe in 2011.
We got to catch up with Graeme to see what he’s doing now.
What are you currently doing career wise?
Working for Northern Districts cricket as their pace bowling coach. Bowling coach for the Northern District Knights and also Head coach of Bay of Plenty mens cricket team.
What aspects of your job challenge you the most?
Moving through the different age groups and abilities can be challenging at times.
What is your greatest cricket accomplishment to date?
I guess playing for the black caps was my biggest achievement albeit very brief. I was happy with the length of my career and managed to perform over a period of time for Northern Districts.
What are your goals/aspirations this year?
I am very new to coaching so am learning as I go. I haven’t set any firm goals, but am wanting to put in some hard work and see where I can get to.
What was the number one life lesson you learnt at Waikato University?
Time management and organising myself.
Looking back on your University experience at Waikato, what did you enjoy most?
Being part of the Hillary scholarship. My mate from school Kaz Thompson was the head trainer so that was good fun working with him.
If cricket wasn’t your sport what would be and why?
I probably would have played rugby more seriously and got nowhere at all.
Who is your cricket hero and why?
Probably Dan Vettori. Not a hero as such, but someone I looked up to when playing with him and watching him play. He is also coaching now so he is always good to talk to in regards to our new careers.
What has inspired you lately?
My two kids keep me entertained and pretty grounded. They want Northern Districts to lose every game fast so I get home earlier.
What advice would you offer to yourself starting your first year at university?
Little bits of work often.