Alumni Spotlight

Niamh Rockett - Waterford Camogie Captain

25 Feb 2019
Niamh Rockett

For Déise Camogie star, Niamh Rockett, years spent fighting a knee injury nearly ended her sporting career.  At one point her doctor warned that if she did not give up sport, she would end up in a wheelchair by the age of 30. Now age 25, Niamh has overcome adversity to captain Waterford in this year’s National League and she was the recipient of an All-Star nomination last season. A UCC Sports Studies and PE graduate, she balances a demanding inter-county training schedule with teaching duties at Blackwater Community School in her native Waterford. We chat to Niamh about her time at UCC.

  • Course/subjects studied in UCC and year of graduation

Sports Studies and Physical Education with Maths (PE and Maths Teaching) and I graduated in 2016.

  • Best memory of UCC

My best memory would probably be making the friends through my course and through sports I played in UCC. I loved the fact the campus was so central and close to the city, it was easy to meet up with friends and there was always loads of things to do.

  • How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?

My college degree gave me a really good platform when getting my first teaching job. I completed placement for one year in my final year, which gave me an added advantage in interviews as opposed to other colleges. I also was involved in camogie in UCC, which really improved my camogie - competing at the highest level with other players from a variety of counties. We missed out on winning the Ashbourne Final in 2016 by a point. I think facing victories and defeats really developed me professionally and personally, liaising and mixing with others are skills I learned in college and are now skills I use teaching and playing sports.

  • What is your advice to current UCC students?

One piece of advice I would give is try to do everything to the best of your ability and give it 100%. A great way to do this is to get involved with as many clubs and societies as possible. When I moved from Waterford to Cork, I didn't know many people but getting involved in camogie really helped me to settle in. Also, in UCC we are given so many opportunities to learn from experts in our field of studies, some opportunities we don't necessarily utilise or see. My advice would be to embrace these chances to learn and develop academically and holistically.

  • What person/people at UCC had the most positive influence on you?

The people in my college course really helped me, especially anyone that was doing Maths in our course - Caroline, Casie and three Davids! My room mates, Nikki, Fiona and Catriona really helped me as well when I got a bad injury on my knee and couldn't play sports for 15 months. I was told to give up sports completely as I have arthritis in my knee as well as other problems. It was quite tough mentally and physically but they were always there to pick me up (sometimes literally)

  • Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?

I played camogie with UCC as mentioned already for four years where I met friends that I'm still in contact with today. The Sports Department were also very helpful in UCC and always offered supports to me in both my academics and my ongoing knee problem!

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