Nick Martin is a world-class kickboxer, but he doesn’t just collect medals in the ring.
He’s also an award-winning butcher, and on his way to becoming a qualified heavy vehicle mechanic.
Last month, the 31-year-old Nowra resident was crowned the South Pacific Welterweight kickboxing champion.
It was a title victory made all the more sweet by the fact he had recovered from injury and was tackling a career change at TAFE NSW.
With a mortgage to service, he admits the decision to change careers wasn’t easy. However, he felt it was necessary to secure employment options for his future.
“I reached a point in my career where if I wanted more challenges in butchery I’d need to manage or open my own business,” Mr Martin said.
“At that point in my life I didn’t want to do that, I was chasing other things.”
One of those “other things” was the professional fighting circuit, where he had already made a name for himself by winning the World Kickboxing Association Australian Title.
However, when injury forced Mr Martin to take a two-year break from the sport, he used the downtime to add another skill set to his resume.
He enrolled at TAFE NSW Shellharbour to study a Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology.
“I’ve been mechanically-minded for as long as I can remember and decided it was something I could do professionally,” Mr Martin said.
“Through this course we work on almost every part of the vehicles from the engine and electrical systems to brakes and suspension.
“There always seems to be plenty of work around for mechanics, and I enjoy being able to take something that’s broken and fix it.”
Mr Martin followed his brothers into butchery when he left school.
During his apprenticeship he studied Certificate III Meat Processing at TAFE NSW Wollongong West.
Through that process his teachers and employers encouraged him to test his skills in industry competitions.
“My teachers gave me a lot of extra information they gained from working in the industry,” Mr Martin said.
“Things you might not otherwise pick up.”
He won a number of industry awards including a gold medal at the WorldSkills National Competition in 2010.
“I also have my butchery qualification to give me something to fall back on if I need it in the future,” he said.
To learn more about TAFE NSW courses available in Semester 2, visit the www.tafensw.com.au website or phone 131 601.