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UEL student to gain valuable work experience during an exciting summer of sport  

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Major sporting events will provide great work experience for physiotherapy student Edel Casey 

by Lee Pinkerton

It promises to be an especially exciting summer of sport for University of East London (UEL) student Edel Casey..

After meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge while volunteering at this year’s London Marathon, physiotherapy student Edel plans to take advantage of work opportunities at this summer’s tennis championships at Wimbledon and the World Athletic Championships in Stratford.

Gaining experience at large sporting events is a key part of the UEL physiotherapy course. Edel has already volunteered several times at the London Marathon.

She said, “You get a buzz out of it. When you see people cross the finish line, it’s quite inspiring, and you get an idea of how much effort they’ve put in to get there. 

“The best thing is the non-experienced runners, the guys who have just done it for the first time.  They all have their own reasons for doing it. When the runners come in, you give them a little rub down, and they tell you their story.”

Edel, who has just completed her final year of study, was a mature student when she enrolled at UEL after stops at two other universities. Her first experience was as a teenager in Ireland studying English and psychology at University College Cork. 

She said, “I was 17, just turning 18, and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. The reason I chose to study that subject was because I thought it would be an easy subject to do while I was rowing. Rowing was my priority.”

Her dedication to rowing led to a rethink her education and profession. She suffered an injury, which provided insight into physiotherapy and the biomechanics of the body. She went back to university to study sports science at Kingston University. After graduating from Kingston, she worked in massage for a private physiotherapy practice in Richmond, London. 

It was while working there that Edel decided she wanted to return to university to study physiotherapy. It was not easy, however.
 
She said, “It took me about four years to actually get a place on a physiotherapy course. I was a mature student and I had been out of university for quite a few years. 

“A lot of universities only hold about 10 per cent of the intake for mature students but someone told me that UEL still had places in Clearing. So I called up, and had a phone interview the next day and a physical interview the next week. Then the week after that I was there.”

Edel continued her massage work alongside her studies, studying four days a week and working three days.
Having so much experience in higher education, she is uniquely placed to assess her time at UEL. 

She said, “At UEL you do really feel like the university wants you to get on.

"The lecturers are far more approachable than at other universities and you really feel they are on your side.”