Road to Rio: UHL’s Louise Galvin in sevens heaven

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Louise Galvin, senior physiotherapist, University Hospital Limerick
A PHYSIOTHERAPIST at University Hospital Limerick is taking a career break to pursue a long-held dream that could end with Olympic qualification and maybe even a World Cup winner’s medal.

A PHYSIOTHERAPIST at University Hospital Limerick is taking a career break to pursue a long-held dream that could end with Olympic qualification and maybe even a World Cup winner’s medal.

Louise Galvin, who works with adult cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, has been selected to train with the Irish women’s 7s rugby team as they prepare for an assault on three fronts this year, starting with the European championships in June.

From a GAA family, Louise has already played football for her native Kerry. She has also captained UL Huskies to national cup success and is now trying her hand at the oval ball game.

“I moved to Limerick in 2009 to study with UL and I have played in a variety of teams and sports, including basketball with the UL Huskies before joining UL Bohs,” she said.

With Irish women’s rugby on the up, Louise is keenly aware of the competition for places on the Irish squad but said she was looking forward to the challenge.

After qualifying from UL in 2008, Louise worked in UHL Dooradoyle, Croom Hospital and the Maternity Hospital before joining the CF unit in 2012, where she now works as a senior physiotherapist.

“Exercise is such a critical element for CF patients to be able to manage their condition and symptoms; it helps to improve their quality of life and has physical as well as mental benefits. As a keen sports participant I feel it helps when I’m demonstrating exercises that I know from doing them myself how easy or difficult they are,” she said.

Louise has “revolutionised the way in which our adult CF patients are managed by promoting increased physical activity and leading this change by example”, said Jean Quinn-McDonagh, physiotherapy department, UHL.

While sorry to lose her for a period, Ms Quinn McDonagh said: “we are thrilled that she is being given this well-deserved opportunity to wear the green jersey and we look forward to cheering her on in Rio in 2016”.