Northern Ireland soccer star Aimee Neal is completing her studies at South West College (SWC), studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science alongside her football career as she advances towards her dream of playing soccer professionally. She has found the Level 3 course has put her on the right path to career success.

Aimee from Fivemiletown began playing football at a young age and fell in love with the sport. She has since achieved success on the grass and is currently playing senior level for Sion Swifts Ladies and the Northern Ireland U19s. Whilst playing professionally is her primary goal, she is eager to develop her education and came to the SWC, Erne campus to pursue her professional sporting career ambitions. She said:

"I always wanted to go down a sporting route, and after achieving 8 GCSEs at Fivemiletown College, I left school and came to SWC. I felt it would be more beneficial for my career as it offered outstanding sporting facilities and courses that aligned with my interests and goals.”

Aimee Neal
Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science

Aimee’s dream is to go professional in football, but she is also studying to create her own business in sports recovery and has found the BTEC is helping her acquire the knowledge and expertise needed to advance both on and off the field.

She said: “I enjoy the course very much and have learnt so much since coming to the College. The tutors are first class, and I wouldn't be able to get the grades I have if it wasn't for the tutors being there to help whenever I needed them.

During my time, I have enjoyed learning more about sports recovery and the science behind elite sports performance. I have also acquired a wide range of knowledge in health and fitness, nutrition, sports coaching, strength and conditioning, sports injuries and more, which has really supported my career ambitions and improved my overall performance.”

Having recently got called up to train with the Northern Ireland Senior Women and with the world at her feet. Aimee advises others in a similar situation to pursue education. She would recommend studying Sport and Exercise courses locally at the College as they are designed to support athletes and those with a natural interest.

As for the future, Aimee said: "My full focus would be football, and if it doesn't work out, then I will have my qualifications, which is vital in the long run. Upon completion, I plan to progress to the foundation degree at the College or even go for a scholarship to play football in America."

For those interested in a career within the ever changing Sport and Exercise Sector,  SWC offer a wide range of flexible courses from Level 2 to BSc Hons degree in areas such as sport and exercise, strength and conditioning, personal and group training as well as gym instructing.  

For further information follow South West College on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or to apply, please see below.

Sport and Exercise

Sport and Exercise