Alumni Profile - Rachael O'Toole
Having recently graduated with a BSc in Sports Rehabilitation, I would unreservedly recommend the University and its courses. The degree programmes in the Sports Science department offer exceptional opportunities to students, as well as training and learning in first-class facilities.
A top Athlete Development Centre and Sports and Spinal Injury Clinic, complete with hydrotherapy pool, are just some of the stand-out facilities students gain real-world experience in as part of their studies. Lecturers on the course are all hugely experienced in the world of professional sport, often continuing to work at an elite level whilst teaching.
The University also has great relationships with top professional teams in the region. During my time at the University I had the privilege of working with Fiji and Wales rugby league teams during the World Cup in 2014, Wigan Athletic FC, Bolton Wanderers FC and Wigan Warriors rugby league team. In my final year I carried out an extended placement at the professional rugby league team, Warrington Wolves. Here I was given the opportunity to demonstrate and put into practice all the skills I learned during my studies. This included carrying out rehab, soft tissue therapy and getting involved in as many areas of sports rehab as possible.
The teaching on the course was exceptional and the varied modules gave a great understanding of the world of sports medicine, in relation to physiotherapy, nutrition, exercise therapy and sports science. The course also provides students with well-known guest lecturers including surgeons and clinicians who are leaders in their field. This experience alone gives sports rehab students at Bolton the most up-to-date evidence based research in sports medicine.
My favourite aspect of the course was the practical side of learning. I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘hands-on’ experience the University provided, allowing students to put learning into practice. Throughout the course students attended marathons, iron man events and rugby and football recovery sessions.
The Sports and Spinal Injuries Clinic, situated within Bolton One, is a crucial part of learning, as students really get to grips working with injured patients and athletes. This particularly helped me to develop clinical skills in a professional environment.
As a graduate of Bolton I’m now Head Soft Tissue Therapist at Warrington Wolves. My position with the first team involves soft tissue therapy, assisting physiotherapists in developing rehabilitation and maintenance programmes, pitch side assistance on match day and reporting on and updating the injury surveillance.
Working with professional teams, and at such a high level during my time on the course, was crucial to me attaining such a position. Working in a full-time sporting environment has now given me the chance to advance my organisational and clinical management skills in a highly pressured and performance-based environment, where accountability is paramount. The knowledge and skills I learned during my time at the
University of Bolton made me a more practical and confident therapist, for which I am very grateful to the University. I am delighted I chose to study at the University and strongly recommend it to all future applicants.
Head Soft Tissue Therapist
BSc (Hons) Sports Rehabilitation