My Portobello Journey – Shannon Byrne, BSc in Sports Therapy to Clinic Owner
Sports therapy had long been a passion for Shannon Byrne, owner and founder of Rebound Injury Clinic. A dancer growing up, Shannon found herself in and out of injury clinics with various ailments. However, perhaps the biggest motivator for her to get into the industry came from her little sister.
“I have a little sister who has special needs. She underwent an awful lot of physiotherapy and speech and language therapy in her early years.
“We were told she’d never walk or talk. Now she’s at stage school, singing, dancing and acting. When you see that first-hand it’s definitely an inspiration,” she said.
Upon completing her Leaving Cert, Shannon went to Coláiste Íde, where she completed their pre-university physiotherapy programme. Her results from the programme allowed her to gain advanced entry into the second year of Portobello’s BSc in Sports Therapy.
“I got all distinctions in [Coláiste Íde] so I was delighted. That led me to Portobello where I started in the second year because of my results,” she said.
Shannon graduated in 2020 and looked back on her time with Portobello with great fondness.
“The one thing I would say about Portobello that sets it apart from any other university or college would probably be that the classes are quite small and compact. It’s quite a practical course, so it’s important to be able to have those small groups. All of the lecturers know all of the students’ names.
“It’s a personable experience which is important, I think when you’re doing something so practical, rather than just being a number in a lecture hall. You’re also closer to your peers as well because you’re a smaller group, so it’s easier to have conversations about certain topics. I always found that helpful,” Shannon said.
Like her peers, Shannon went on placement during that time and was able to apply the practical skills she learned in class to her work.
“We had to find work placement when we were coming towards the end of our second year.
“There was a clinic in Dublin that got in touch with the college that was willing to take a student on. We were all like sheep running out the door drying to apply for this work placement in a busy clinic. I was lucky enough to get placement in that clinic in January 2019. I worked there for the year and a half left I had in college. I was taken on full-time once I finished my degree,” she said.
While learning the practical skills of sports therapy was the main focus of the course, there was another module that focused on business that would lead Shannon to where she is now, even if she didn’t realise it at the time.
“In final year, we had to do a presentation of a business plan. I remember flicking back through my business plan and thought that’d be great if that could be a reality in a couple of years’ time. Little did I know, in a few short months, that it would be my reality.
“I opened my clinic, Rebound Injury Clinic in Finglas, in 2020, smack bang in the middle of the pandemic. It’s been open a year and a half now, it’s done really well. I now employ two other therapists in the clinic,” she said.
It has indeed done very well as, in the short year and a half that Shannon has been running Rebound, which is based in Philly McMahon's BeDo7 gym, she has provided service to over 500 clients. Before ever going down the path she is on now, she was told by a guidance counsellor to look elsewhere. It is advice that Shannon is happy she never took.
“Portobello Institute, I can’t say enough good things about them. I think if it wasn’t for Portobello, I wouldn’t be in the same position I am today.
“The start of this journey was a guidance counsellor telling me to take a completely different route, so I’m glad I didn’t listen to that advice when it was given to me.
“If there are any students doing their Leaving Cert, and worried about not getting the points for certain courses, Portobello is a great first step. If Portobello had been an option for me straight away, if I knew about it when I was doing my Leaving Cert, I would have dived straight into the first year.”
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