Sports Department Year in Review
2018 was a very successful year within the Sports Department at Portobello Institute. Our graduates began their dream jobs in sport or continued with their studies to achieve a place across a number of Masters degree programmes. We witnessed the launch of our new innovative degrees together with the development of facilities and partnerships within industry to ensure the best educational journeys for our students.
Second Cohort of Graduates
We are proud to see our recent graduates progress to further education at Masters level. Many of our students this year have secured places to complete professional graduate programmes in physiotherapy, physical education, strength and conditioning and sports psychology in Ireland and at a number of prestigious universities in the UK (e.g. Loughborough University and the University of Edinburgh).
New Degree Offerings
In July, we secured validation for a number of new degrees that are designed to develop the next generation of sports scientists. These degree were developed in response to the evolving demands of the sport science industry: We launched our New BSc PE and Coaching degree. With the introduction of Leaving Cert Examination in PE - the demand for specialist PE teachers is set to increase to meet the demands of subject-specific delivery. Our New BSc PE and Coaching programme includes education in gymnastics, dance, athletics, aquatics, adventure activities, psychology, sociology and curriculum development. The degree provides a platform for progression to a profession masters in Physical Education.
We also launched a BSc Performance Analysis level 8 degree that is designed to meet the needs of the Sports Technology Industry. Sports technology is a rapidly growing market with many of the top international sports technology companies having their headquarters in Ireland (Stats Sport, Kitman Labs, Orreco, STAT, Performa Sport). Our programme provides a very applied focus on developing the skills and experience working with and implementing interventions based on biomechanical analysis, performance analysis and GPS data analysis.
Sports Facilities Development
Practical facilities are an essential part of becoming a competent applied practitioner in Sports Therapy, Sports Science or Physical Education. To continue to promote practitioner competencies development within our students, we have invested in a new state of the art sports facility.
We are delighted to have BlkBox Fitness working with us to construct our new sports facilities. BlkBox Fitness are renowned for their gym facility construction and equipment provision. BlkBox Fitness have kitted out many of Ireland’s top facilities, including the gym at Santry Sports Surgery, Dublin GAA, as well as facilities throughout the UK (e.g. Everton Football Club).
For the coming academic years, students will be using this facility on a weekly basis to put their knowledge and skills gained in to action. Our Sports Therapy students will benefit from using this facility to practice advanced sports rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies. Our Sports Science and Physical Education students will benefit from using this facility for practical coaching and testing sessions. Additionally, our new BSc in Performance Analysis students will be using this facility extensively for technical strength and conditioning programming, coaching and biomechanical evaluation.
New Short Courses
In addition to our degrees, we developed a new QQI validated level 5 programme in Sports and Exercise Studies. This course was designed to address a notable gap in sports education and provide a comprehensive one year introduction to the essential domains of nutrition, psychology, coaching, strength & conditioning, adventure activities, sports management and performance analysis. This course provides a stepping stone one year programme to individuals considering a career in Sports Coaching or Sports Management and provides opportunities for for progression into employment in the sports and leisure industry or progression to degree level qualification.
Tutor Team Growth
We pride ourselves on building a caring, compassionate team of tutors who practice what they preach. All of our tutors are not only academics, but also active practitioners who have first-hand experience of life and work in the sports industry. Their experience, knowledge and passion provide students with invaluable mentorship that extends beyond the bounds of the classroom. Our team our dedicated to changing the education of practitioners and leading the way in evidence-based, science-lead practice to push the sports industry in Ireland forward.
In addition to their applied and academic work, many of our tutors continue play sport to a high level thus their personal and professional experience and expertise continue to shape the development of Portobello Sports Department.
Research Project Collaborations & DCU Lab Work
Throughout 2018 our Students have continued to collaborate on research projects with DCU MedEx programme, researching the use of exercise intervention and prescription for cancer survivors. In addition, our degree programme students avail of the Human Performance Lab facilities to complete their physiology lab work components. This collaboration has provided students access to a state of the art human performance physiology lab and experience in completing laboratory based testing and reporting procedures for VO2 max testing, phlebotomy and cardiorespiratory testing that forms an important part of both clinical exercise physiology for working with general and patient population groups as well as elite level sports performers.