IT Sligo student Emma Hansberry is in Serbia this week as part of the under-19 ladies national side chasing a place in the European Championships.
The Sligo native who had the distinction of playing in a World Cup quarter final as part of the under 17 national team in 2010, says the aim is to get to the top of the group in the European qualifiers. Before flying out, Emma said she was looking forward to the three games, against Cyprus (Saturday 20th) Latvia (Monday 22nd) and Serbia (Thursday 25th)
“At this stage I’m really looking forward to it. We want to get to the top of the group”, said Emma, a first year Health, Science & Physiology student in the Institute.
The 18 year old, who started kicking a ball with her brothers at the age of four, got plenty of encouragement along the way not least from Sligo Rovers legend Chris Rutherford who is married to her aunt Bernie.
She was part of the local Ursuline College team which won two Connacht finals with the school, and it is no surprise that she now plays for IT Sligo’s GAA and soccer clubs.
A talented Gaelic footballer she plays with St Mary’s and was on the intermediate county team which won the Connacht final this year.
“I have got great support at IT Sligo and am really enjoying the top notch facilities there,” said Emma. “My lecturers have been really understanding about my commitments at the European qualifiers and I’m really enjoying the course. It is perfect for someone like me who wants to work in sport but is still unsure about the precise job I want to end up in”.
Emma believes that the Health Science & Physiology programme will be an ideal foundation whether she opts for a career in physiotherapy, PE, work in the leisure industry or some related area.
She says the sporting tradition at IT Sligo makes her feel very much at home. Last year another Institute student, Aileen Gilroy, played with the under 19 national team. “I was nervous a few weeks ago but at this stage I’m really looking forward to the qualifiers and just determined to do my best,” said Emma.
For more information on the BSc in Health Science and Physiology at IT Sligo click here.