Student blog - Aurora Paris, BSc Sports Therapy, Year 3 – integrated placement year


Hi, I’m Aurora and I’m currently on my integrated placement year. I will be returning to Hartpury next year to complete my third year of my BSc Sports Therapy degree.

I chose this degree because I loved playing sports growing up and have a passion for rugby.

I’m an active person and love the practicals
Being a Sport student, our lectures tend to start later in the morning to allow for team training sessions. As my hockey team trains in the evening, I use this time to catch up on sleep, revise lecture notes and walk into Gloucester Quays for breakfast with my friends – I’m living off campus now and drive in for lectures.

I particularly enjoy the practical elements of my course, as I prefer being hands on than sat at a desk. I’m an active person, so I tend to dance my way round the clinic and bring the energy to my class. My favourite module was Introduction Skills to Sports Therapy, where we learnt the key skills to assess someone.

Sports matches on campus are a must – playing or spectating
I absolutely love ‘Big BUCS Wednesdays’. I play hockey for Hartpury and we’ve had a fantastic season. We just won the British Universities and Colleges ICG Women’s Western Tier 5 division without losing a match! With Hartpury being a specialist university, I find that everyone supports one another.

We all turn out to support our teams at home matches, then the fun usually continues far into the early hours of Thursday morning – Wednesday is student night in Gloucester! I love how friendly Hartpury is, it feels like more of a family. Everyone looks out for everyone, which makes nights out really fun and safe.

I’ve gained so much confidence through my placement
Prior to starting university, I gained a qualification in pitch side first aid and taping, which helped me to secure a job with a local rugby team in my second semester. By my second year, I was working for a semi-elite 7’s team, travelling across the UK and Europe and developing my practical skills alongside my studies.

I always knew that I was going to do a placement, as I think they’re a good opportunity to learn skills and gain a boost into real world. I applied to do my integrated placement year at a Premiership club, and after showing them everything I have to offer, I was thrilled to be offered a year’s placement – as they don’t usually take placement students. The acceptance gave me something to work hard for during the rest of my second year.

I’m now halfway through my placement year and I’m absolutely loving it! I’ve learnt so many new things, but I’ve also been able to apply much of the theory and practical work from my course, and see it working in an industry setting. I’ve gained experience within many different areas of the club. Being part of the team of doctors, physios, strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists and psychologists has been a privilege.

I feel so much more confident in my knowledge and ability to assess athletes, make clinical decisions and provide the most efficient treatment. I think this year in industry has really changed me as a person.

I’ve got my heart set on working for an elite rugby club
If I’m honest, I never want this placement to end! It’s encouraging me to work even harder in my final year at university, so I can come away with a top grade to help further my career.

The dream would be to work for the All Blacks, New Zealand national rugby union team, but I know I have a long way to go until I get there. I think it’s really important to have a goal in this degree. When I graduate, I’m going to do an MSc in Physiotherapy, which will enable me to further my career in elite rugby.

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