Hockey star Zoe received her first cap for Ireland in 2017 and now has 104 caps. While studying at Ulster Zoe played in a number of major tournaments including two European Championships and the 2018 World Cup in London where the team came home with a silver medal. Zoe was also part of the Irish team as they qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time in history.
Unfortunately a serious knee injury means Zoe will not be travelling with the rest of the squad to Tokyo but she will be cheering them on from home.
Thanks to her sporting background Zoe was inspired to study Human Nutrition at Ulster,
“Playing a lot of sport growing up, where a lot of emphasis was placed on how to fuel your body, gave me an insight into the importance of food. I really wanted to explore the underpinning science behind nutrition and this course was a perfect match.”
Balancing her studies with her international hockey career was always going to be a challenge but Zoe felt supported to achieve her best both on and off the field,
“Competing at the highest level requires a lot of time and commitment, travelling for warm weather training camps and international test games throughout the year. I could not have achieved both academic and hockey success without the support of my tutors and especially my Course Director Pauline Douglas who was always available to offer advice, guidance and discuss options that would allow me to successfully complete my degree whilst playing hockey at the highest level possible.”
Studying nutrition, Zoe enjoyed the mix of lectures and practical lab sessions which allowed her to put her newly acquired knowledge and skills to the test. It was during her placement year in Ballyclare High School that she found her calling to teaching and she is looking forward to starting her PGCE in September.
“My placement year gave me a really great insight into the world of teaching. After that year I knew it was the career for me and I am really looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead.”