Quercus Sports’ Scholar Sam Grace features in the Irish Times!

6 Jan 2016
Sam Grace first year sports studies and physical education UCC

Quercus Sports' Scholar Sam Grace was featured in the Irish Times on January in a student profile piece by Nora Ide McAuliffe.

Student profile: ‘I wouldn’t be one for sitting in the classroom’

Sam Grace: first year sports studies and physical education UCC 

For Sam (19), deciding on what course to choose, along with securing a college scholarship, meant he had a lot on his plate during his Leaving Cert year. He spent the first few months of sixth year trying to decide between the Army and physio, before finally deciding that he wanted to be a PE teacher.

“The Army is still an option for me after the course, I can see what happens. With physio, I realised that with the amount of studying that I was doing [for the Leaving Cert], it probably wasn’t an option points wise. I also talked to some people who had done the course, along with actual physios, and I just didn’t think it was for me. Looking back now I know physio would have been tough going for me.”

Keen on Gaelic football, rugby and hockey, he decided that something in sports would be the best option for him. He set his heart on UCC after researching in detail online what the sports studies and physical education course involved and how it differed to other PE courses in Ireland.

Grace also spoke to some people already on the course about their experience and visited the college, where he was blown away by the university’s Mardyke Arena. A conversation with college representatives at a fair in the RDS also played a part, when it was mentioned how PE might become an exam subject in the next few years, adding to his employment prospects.

Those factors, along with the chance of a sports scholarship through UCC’s Quercus programme, meant when CAO time came around, he was confident he had made the right choice. When the results came out he got both his place on the course and the scholarship.

“I’m really happy with how it worked out. I wouldn’t really be one for sitting in the classroom and so far this course is really practical and hands on. It’s even better than I expected.

“There are loads of different aspects to it, not just sports. There’s also sociology and psychology and there are different branches you can go down. You get your HDip within the four years, but there’s a few lads who want to do full-time coaching and you could go the sports psychology route through it too. It isn’t just restricted to PE, which is nice.”


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