University of Hertfordshire Graduate Laura Clint is the 2017 winner of the inaugural Society of Sports Therapists Student Travelling Scholarship to York University, Toronto, Canada.
Laura, who gained a First Class Honours Degree in Sports Therapy, is the first recipient of this award. During her stay in Canada, she will be hosted by the University’s School of Kinesiology and based at the Gorman Shore Athletic Therapy Clinic; a teaching clinic for students on York’s Athletic Therapy Certificate Programme.
22 year old Laura will be arriving at a busy time for both the University sports teams and the Clinic. Pre-season training for the University’s football (grid iron) team, the York Lions, will just be underway and she will also be spending time with the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams along with women’s rugby.
Laura has already had a taste of international sport and travel having spent her placement year in Western Sydney, Australia with the Penrith Panthers Rugby League Club, which proved to be a fantastic learning and cultural experience for her.
Laura negotiated a tough application process which saw her shortlisted down to a final six Graduates, all of whom had achieved First Class Honours Degrees. An interview process followed, which included on the interview panel, Professor Graham N. Smith, Chairman of the Society of Sports Therapists, Keith Waldon Vice Chair and Athletic Therapist and York University Assistant Professor, Loriann Hynes, who had flown in from Canada especially for the event. Laura came through with flying colours.
Hearing her name announced as the winner was a great moment for the young Graduate. Laura said: ‘I think there was just a wave of relief when I heard my name and then a feeling of pure happiness. I am really looking forward to experiencing life in a team environment and then I hope I can build on the experience when I return.’
Laura paid tribute to her Lecturers at the Hatfield based University. She said: ‘I’ve had a great university experience. It was definitely tough at times but my lecturers have been really supportive.’ Laura gave a special mention to Society Director and Principal Lecturer Jenny Jones who had been her main tutor throughout her time at the University.
As part of the trip Laura will have the opportunity to participate in a major concussion research project involving York University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. It will look at the role of active rehabilitation strategies in concussion management; a very hot topic for sport in the UK and rugby in particular. The international study is being funded by the NFL to the tune of $2.6 million.
Professor Graham N. Smith said:
‘We are delighted to have partnered with York University on this Travelling Scholarship and Laura is a worthy winner. It will be a great opportunity for her to witness first hand life at what is one of the largest universities in Canada and one with an extensive academic and sporting reputation.
‘I know Laura will be a great ambassador for the Society and the University of Hertfordshire and she will not only have an enjoyable and educational time there but one that we know will help forge strong links for both the Society and York University in the future.’