Visiting Students to be Pioneers in Athletic Training in IrelandSeptember 23, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Sept. 23, 2009 – Students of athletic training from Dublin City University (DCU) Maire Nic Amhlaoibh, Aoife Greene, Lisa Reid and Lynsey Porter were delighted when their study abroad destination was shifted from Canada to Springfield College. They had been impressed by the success of their colleague, Frachra Power, who credited his landing a plumb job in athletic training in Ireland to the skills he gained during a semester at Springfield College last year.
DCU is pioneering the athletic training profession in Ireland as the first institution of higher learning in the country to offer a degree program in the field. The four exchange students are on schedule to be in the program’s second graduating class.
As fourth-year undergraduates in athletic training, they are pursuing an ambitious semester at Springfield College with 20 hours of clinical experience and 12 course credits.
“We’re getting exactly the kind of hands-on experience that we were looking for, and we’re supervised by athletic trainers,” said Greene. Nic Amhlaoibh added, “The facilities are so professional, and we also work with physicians and other professionals.”
They all agreed that experience with sports in which they’ve not previously worked is another benefit of the program. They were introduced to American football through four-week clinical assignments with the Springfield College team in August. After that, each was assigned to athletic training for Springfield College sports teams: Greene to football and wrestling, Reid to football, Porter to gymnastics, and Nic Amhlaoibh to gymnastics and women’s basketball.
The group is taking courses in anatomy, rehabilitation, research methods, independent study and senior seminar. “Cadaver lab is an opportunity that we don’t have at home,” Reid said. “The approach to research methods is very practical, with the faculty taking it step-by-step,” Greene added.
Greene said that the DCU students’ mentoring groups also aid learning and collegiality. “It’s a form of bonding that makes it easier to work together when we play together.” Taking that to new heights, they’re planning a “stew bowl,” as a substitute for the Athletic Training Department’s traditional chili bowl at the end of the football season. The Irish students will lead a game of Gaelic football, followed by a meal of Irish stew, for any interested students or members of the faculty and staff.