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Jo Sweetman – Portobello ‘enabled me to pursue my passion while also being there for my family’

BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy

Jo Sweetman – Portobello ‘enabled me to pursue my passion while also being there for my family’

Jo Sweetman – Portobello ‘enabled me to pursue my passion while also being there for my family’

Jo Sweetman has always been active but found recovery difficult after having her daughter. Her health and fitness education journey post-partum led her to study for her BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy at Portobello Institute and she hasn’t looked back.

Jo is now self employed at Body Positive Health & Fitness having discovered a whole new passion for helping others on their health and fitness journeys.

During Covid, I had my daughter who is now three years old. I have always been a very active person and found recovery after having my daughter difficult. There was very conflicting information about exercise and post-partum and returning back to sport.

“Because of that, I decided to get my personal training and pre-and post-natal certificate during my maternity leave. After receiving these certificates, I still felt like there was more to learn about exercise and rehabilitation and started researching places where I could learn about the human body, injuries and rehabilitation,” she said.

Finding the courage to embark on a complete career change, Jo says she has enjoyed her time at Portobello Institute due to the flexibility and support she received in balancing her commitments.

I chose Portobello because of the blended learning option that it provided for the Sports Therapy Degree. As a mature student having important commitments like children, work and paying the bills made it difficult to pick an option where you had to attend a course full-time. Portobello made it an easy decision to choose as it was a mixture of online learning and practicals during the weekend, which made it very easy to work around my family and my job,” she said. 

Jo has worked in a variety of different jobs since she left school from competitive horse yards to working in the oil fields in Canada. However, since moving to Ireland she had been working in the insurance industry. She shares how her passion has developed over the years and she now fulfils her potential helping people to achieve their best.

“My last job before I left was as a Farm Underwriter. Although I enjoyed this line of work and it was very interesting, it was a very fast paced high pressure environment.  

My passion has changed since my early 20’s. I would never have thought that I would have pursued a career in the health science and fitness professional world. I gave up my insurance job this year fully and have been working in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, massage therapist, fitness and swimming instructor for the last six months.

“I love helping people achieve their goals and becoming the healthiest and strongest version of themselves. I also take a particular interest in pre- and post-natal exercise. It can be hard for women to come back and feel themselves after having a baby and I love helping women achieve their goals.

“This course has given me an in-depth knowledge about the human body and the importance of proper rehabilitation. The knowledge that I have acquired on this course has helped me with my job as a fitness professional and hopefully I will be able to open a clinic/gym to help people return to sport or to create a healthier, stronger version of themselves,” she said. 

Jo describes her time studying at Portobello Institute as ‘immensely enjoyable’.

The lecturers have all been extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They understand the difficulties that being a mature student can bring and always help in any way that they can. The lectures are always engaging, and the small class sizes means that it is very personable. I have also made some good friendships which will continue after we have completed this course.  

The best thing about studying at Portobello is the blended learning option. The online theory lectures mean that I can stay at home with my daughter while listening in on the lectures. The practical’s are also held at the weekend which means that it is more feasible for me to travel up and make childcare arrangements. This course has enabled me to pursue my passion while also being there for my family.  

The accessibility of attending the lectures, the small class sizes and the knowledgeable lecturers make it an easy decision to choose this college.  

“The BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy was the right course for me. It gave me an overall knowledge of the human body, injuries and rehabilitation. It has given me a very good foundation to expand my business or to study in the sport science field further,” she said.

Portobello Institute has a dynamic sports department with a range of top qualifications for the next step in your career.

If you are interested in any of our sports courses or have any questions you can book a consultation call with our expert sports advisor Jason Lester, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0029. 

Read More: Discover Sports Therapy as a Diverse and Rewarding Career Path




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