Life-changing Experience for NZCU South Scholarship Winner

The 2018 NZCU South Young Member Scholarship recipients were awarded in January, 2018. Indigo Poynton-Levett, Tuihana Taiaroa-Smithies and Thomas Sexton were this year’s deserving recipients, with each receiving $5,000 to assist in achieving their goals and aspirations. The scholarships have allowed the opportunity for the three recipients to recognise their potential, competing on an International Stage, both in the performing arts field and in the sporting arena.

From top of the South Island to the UK, Paris and even performing at the illustrious Globe Theatre. It has been an epic 2018 to date for Indigo Poynton-Levett (19), one of three NZCU South Young Member Scholarship recipients. Corresponding from a café in Paris, the Nelson teen has recently been involved with the prestigious 2018 Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand group (SGCNZ) for the Shakespeare Globe Theatre Tour to the UK. A 24-strong party travelled from New Zealand to partake in workshops and perform a play at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre in London. “The night of performing on the Globe stage was a feeling I cannot put into words, the rich history, and wealth of talented actors who had performed before you was a spectacular feeling.”

Highlights of the experience include ‘everything London’. “I loved exploring the city, the buzzing atmosphere is infectious.” In terms of challenges, the experience has been a grind, well worthwhile to reward the hard worker. “It was non-stop. We would typically begin rehearsals and workshops at 9:00am and be finished anywhere up to 1:00am.” Despite moments of sheer exhaustion, Indigo describes the moments “not as low points, but moments of learning that made the whole experience even more satisfying.” Beyond the grind of rehearsals and performance Indigo managed to take in shows at the Old Vic, The National Theatre, The Playhouse and The Globe itself. “All performances were so varied, but all encompassed such rich diversity and forward thinking that was incredibly inspiring.”

“Once again thank you so much for your contribution to my trip. It helped me more than I can describe. It was such an incredible experience and I grew so much both in a theatrical sense and in the broader sense of my being.”

The performing arts is a passion of Indigo’s, with a pathway of acting, playwriting and poetry on the cards following on from her immediate plans to travel. Either that or a slightly more scientific direction, studying medicine or environmental science. “Very different pathways I know.”
Beyond discovering a clear-cut pathway to take, the ambitious teen’s immediate future lies in a phase of more travel, with further backpacking in Europe, time in Morocco, more of the UK and South East Asia, before venturing back home by Christmas. It’s been a formative experience for Indigo who is beyond grateful at the support received back home from family, the NZCU South scholarship and beyond. “It’s been life-changing, I currently sit writing this in a café in Paris. I count my lucky stars that I had such support from NZCU South.”

“Thank you to the team at NZCU South for making this journey possible. It was such an easy process and I’m so glad they support young people to do what they are passionate about. I’m sure it changes people’s lives.”

Running in its third year, the NZCU South scholarships are aimed at recognising young members or family members of members to assist in payment of part or full study in the areas of academia, arts, music or sports within New Zealand or overseas for which applicants have been accepted. The scholarships aim to assist recipients in realising their dreams, whilst being recognised within the community and beyond for being at a high level in their chosen field and being able to further develop already recognised potential.

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