Lisa Shields

Lisa Shields

Lisa Shields

Student of Sports Development and Coaching 

ATU Donegal Letterkenny

I always dreamed of getting a PE Teaching qualification. Anybody wishing to pursue a career in PE Teaching is very fortunate to have the option at ATU Donegal Letterkenny. The new Sports and Exercise course has a progression agreement in place with the University of Limerick (UL) where students can then progress to complete a master’s programme in UL.

My love for sport encouraged me to study the Bachelor of Business in Sports Development and Coaching course.

I loved campus life. I played for the ladies GAA team and was delighted to receive a scholarship in the fourth year of my studies. The scholarship helped to fund my sporting trips which was fantastic. I love athletics and have represented Ireland internationally.

I loved every minute at the Letterkenny campus, and I made so many friends that I am still in touch with. The nightlife was amazing; we had a lot of fun times. Being originally from Donegal, I enjoyed being so close to home.

The lecturers were great; we had some lectures in theatres and lots of practical classes in the gym facilities within the college. The course also had a work placement module. I got to go back to my secondary school for my work placement. This was a proud moment for me. I got to see what PE teaching would be like as a career and hands-on experience of what was involved.

After graduating, I decided to go to Australia. During my time there, I was lucky to be able to travel around and see different cities and towns. I worked as a Sports Development Officer at the University of Queensland and coached athletics. I learned so much.

When I returned home, the dream of becoming a PE Teacher was still with me. I didn’t know how to go about achieving this dream. One of my lecturers in Letterkenny told me that a new Bachelor of Science Honours with Sports and Exercise programme had been developed. It had the missing modules that I needed to progress to the master’s programme at the University of Limerick (UL). I joined this programme and felt both excited and nervous to be back studying again, but I felt like I was getting a step closer to my PE teaching goal.

After completing this course, I applied for the Professional Master of Education in Physical Education and was successfully granted a place in UL. I completed my master’s and was offered a job as a PE teacher after graduating.