“I think the interactions with students are great. You always get different feedback off different students. You’re teaching them, but they’ll teach you a few things as well which is brilliant.”
Ciara Mulrooney is currently a lecturer on the BSc in Sports Therapy for the Portobello Institute. But her journey to becoming a qualified athletic therapist was a rather scenic one. While becoming an athletic therapist was on her radar going back to her school days, it was a different venture that kept her busy in the aftermath of her Leaving Cert.
“I had always thought that being a sports therapist or physio is what I wanted to do. But during school I used to work in sailing, I would go away on the tall ships. So, after the Leaving Cert I went away and sailed on tall ships for a while. I sailed around Ireland, the UK and northern Europe”
After her maritime adventures, Ciara then travelled down under a spent a full year in Australia before returning home to Ireland. Once back, the desire to become an athletic therapist was re-discovered, but she wanted to be sure of herself before fully pursuing that career path.
“When I came back home, I went and did a PLC course in Sports Therapy in college just to make sure that going back full time was what I wanted to do. So, after that I went to DCU as a mature student and did my Athletic Therapy and Training degree there because I was fully sure that it was something that I wanted to do.”
It would be another while before Ciara would venture into the world of academic as she returned to her native Sligo. Ciara works as Head Athletic Therapist for a number of teams in the northwest.
- Sligo Ladies football team at Senior, Minor, U16 and U14 level
- Sligo Rovers Women’s teams at U19, U17 and the incoming senior team
- IT Sligo GAA Academy in hurling, football, and the ladies’ teams
- Coolera GAA in hurling football, and the ladies’ team
In addition to her responsibilities with the teams above, Ciara also set up her own clinic, Recalibrate Sligo Injury Clinic in 2016. Her main enjoyment came from interacting with her patients but before long, she began taking on final year students for their placement.
“I started taking final year students and mentored them for their final year placement. So, I think that lead to looking more into the academic side. I went on to Trinity College then and did my Masters in Sports and Exercise Medicine. Finished that at the start of 2020 after handing in my thesis. Then the opportunity in Portobello came along and I’ve been happy teaching students since then.”
Ciara has been with Portobello for almost two years and, while maintaining her field work, has really enjoyed the opportunity to teach what she learned in her career so far.
“I think the interactions with students are great. You always get different feedback off different students. You’re teaching them, but they’ll teach you a few things as well which is brilliant.
“It’s just great to see them develop, see them move and gain confidence in their skills and see how they progress through the different modules and getting confidence and competence going into the real world.”