Name: Aoife Donohue
Teams represented: Galway, NUIG, Mullagh
Course: Professional Master of Education- Geography & English
“I found it very difficult to make to decision to go back to college after working a full time permanent job for almost three years, however working in a factory was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life! I was used to earning a weekly wage and was conscious of the financial pressures I would face becoming a student again but from talking to friends and family they made me realise this was something I needed to do. I am now nearly one year through the course and although it has been financially difficult, I am delighted I eventually decided to pursue my dream of becoming a teacher. I am really enjoying the course and have been carrying out my teaching practice in my old secondary school which has been an experience in itself. Going back to college to do the PME also gave me the opportunity to play college camogie again and I captained a great group of girls to become Purcell Cup winners, while also making friends for life! At times the pressures of college can be difficult to manage when it comes to balancing study and sport particularly when your on-teaching practice and have assignments due, however I feel keeping on top of the workload is half the battle. For me, I feel organisation and prioritising are vitally important.
The game has taught me many lessons throughout my career and I have developed a vast amount of skills from being involved in a team. Playing with a team has given me a drive, it has helped me develop my communication skills and has made me set goals for myself and the team. I believe all these skills are transferrable not only to my studies but also to everyday life. Playing a team sport has made me realise the importance of team work, communication and time management, all important skills in any area of life. I would advise young girls to prioritise their work and training particularly around exam time, but I would encourage them to stay playing. If you are willing to work hard it is possible to manage both, however it is important to put as much effort into your studies as your sport.
This scholarship will help me to meet the demands of being a student and an athlete, it will take away some of the financial pressures of college so that I can focus more on my studies and playing. At the moment I am really enjoying the PME. I am extremely passionate about becoming a teacher and it was always something I wanted to do. I loved coaching and training kids in my club and this made me realise I wanted to make a difference to the lives of children.
Obviously, my main goal off the field would be to finish my degree and become a good teacher. I hope to achieve this by working hard with my colleagues and mentors along the way. I also hope to get a summer job!!!!”
Sporting Hero: Sinead Cahalan
Funniest thing to ever happen: Probably when our club manager accidently text the wrong person when he was organising training. He had the same name as our own trainer!! We landed at training wondering why this person was setting up drills down and there was no sign of our own trainer. Our manager quickly realised he had text the wrong person! We just had to go along with it as the ‘new’ trainer was fully delighted to be coming on board. Our trainer told him afterwards he would contact him when the next session was on…. that never happened!!! We laughed through the entire training session!
Favourite team mate/player: Rachel Monaghan- She has more skill in her baby finger!!!
Favourite Manager(s), and why?: Madge Kennedy- Puts massive energy and time into Mullagh camogie. She has a massive determination to succeed
Hardest thing and best thing about playing at county level: Probably the commitment and the time it involves. Representing your county and performing at the highest level and making friends for life!
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!
Favourite interest / talent / hobby away from GAA: Shopping and socialising!!
Three words other people would use to describe you: Hardworking, committed and small!!!
What are you most proud of so far (on or off the field!): Winning a county final with my club, captaining my club, winning a senior and intermediate and minor all Ireland with Galway, Captaining Nuig to win Purcell Cup! Off the field- Completing my degree and eventually returning to do the PME.