At the recent Portobello Institute graduation, which celebrated the classes of 2020 and 2021, BSc in Sports Therapy graduate, Nicole Brindle had what was already a proud day even better.
At the ceremony in Croke Park, Nicole was awarded the Student of the Year award by her tutor, Cathal Brady.
For Nicole, becoming a physiotherapist has been a long-held ambition, and with very good reason.
“I wanted to become a physio because my little sister has cerebral palsy. I’ve always wanted to get into it,” she said.
Becoming a physiotherapist in Ireland can be a difficult journey, with CAO entry requirements remaining extremely high year on year.
Nicole had to find an alternative route if she was to fulfil her ambition. She undertook a PLC course in Coláiste Íde. This then led her to Portobello Institute where, after a difficult journey interrupted by Covid 19 pandemic, she has now emerged with a BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy.
Speaking at the graduation, Nicole reflected on her time at Portobello fondly. She says that for her, the people at Portobello are some of the best.
“Everyone is so genuine. They help you in whatever way they can,” she said.
Though the graduation came a year later than planned, it didn’t take any shine off the day and while there to collect her degree, Nicole had her day made more memorable as her tutor and programme lead for the Sports Therapy programme, Cathal Brady, awarded her with the honour of Student of the Year, an award she said she ‘was not expecting at all’.
Speaking before awarding Nicole the honour, Cathal said ‘this award goes to a student who I believe was highly motivated from her first day in Portobello to her last. Her work ethic allowed her to achieve success academically, while naturally taking on a role as a leader within the cohort, helping others to achieve their goals.’
Nicole’s graduation came hot on the heels of more exciting news as she joined the team at Rebound Injury Clinic in Dublin.
The clinic was founded and is run by another Portobello graduate, Shannon Byrne. Like Nicole, Shannon went down to the PLC route initially, also going to Coláiste Íde.
From there Shannon enrolled on the BSc (Hons) in Sports Therapy, gaining advanced entry into the second year of the programme thanks to her PLC qualification. Shannon was also in attendance at Croke Park as she was graduating with the class of 2020.
College Director, Denise Flood, was delighted upon hearing the news that Portobello graduates were getting hired by other Portobello graduates.
“We are absolutely delighted to hear about our recent graduate and student of the year, Nicole Brindle being offered a job by Shannon, another recent graduate of our Sports Therapy programme, in her injury clinic.
“Shannon has also been supporting the teaching of the Sports Therapy programme this year. Shannon knows the programme really well and is confident in the calibre of graduates she is receiving to support the work with athletes in her clinic.
“This gives us, as an academic institute, enormous confidence in the knowledge and skills attained by our learners that make them so employable upon graduation,” she said.
We’d like to wish Nicole and Shannon a massive congratulations once again on receiving their qualifications and all the best in their careers going forward.