We were delighted to have Chris Coombs from Tullamore Physio in to speak to students at Tullamore College last week. Chris is also a lecturer in the Sports Science department at AIT and gave students a whole host of tips on sports injury prevention during their ‘Healthy Living Week’ as well as advice on facilities and courses at AIT. We had a chat to Chris to find out more about his career and what inspired him to study physiotherapy!
Chris, what was it that first inspired you to pursue a career in physiotherapy? I know you are sports mad, could that be something to do with it?
I was always fascinated with sports performance. I was playing rugby and judo in wales and was constantly trying to get the best out of myself but for various reasons I kept getting injured (Now I know why!) – So for me it was a no brainer if I couldn’t play top level sport it provided a great chance of being involved in high level sport!
Can you tell us a bit about your background, where you studied and what course you took?
My first degree was in Sports Science, I studied this at Glamorgan University and this gave me a good background in sports performance testing and training elite athletes. Following this I attended Cardiff medical School and completed a Degree in Physiotherapy. I then undertook post graduate courses looking at running mechanics, athlete load monitoring and various courses to help treat different conditions. At present Im studying a Masters in Clinical Physiotherapy which is based out of Curtin University, Australia!
Did you like science in school?
Yes I quite liked science it was better than maths! At school I probably wasn’t the most dedicated student but as I got a little older I found I enjoyed it more!
We are delighted to hear you are now sharing your expert knowledge and lecturing in the Midlands third level institution, AIT? What courses are you teaching there?
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to be appointed lecturer in Athletic Therapy & Rehabilitation. I’ve been lucky enough to attend some of the best universities in the UK and Australia but I was blown away by the sports facilities in AIT – They have some great cutting edge technology there.
There aren’t enough future scientists! What can we be doing to encourage more young people to pursue a science related qualification at third level?
I think Science is a great gateway for students. It allows students to branch off into so many different areas such as sport, hospital based jobs to researching cancer etc. My advice to students is to pursue science related jobs ..not only are there many well paid jobs but there is such a different range of jobs that you can go into. It also allows you to travel the world. I never have imagined I’d end up working in elite sport and now lecturing at AIT.