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Midlands Teacher Recognised At Global Undergraduate Awards

Laura Phelan's thesis on GAA injuries is being praised on the world stage!

A midlands teacher is being recognised on the global stage for her thesis on GAA injuries.

Laois woman Laura Phelan, a graduate from Mary Immaculate College, has been Highly Commended at the recent Global Undergraduate Awards in recognition of the strength of her undergraduate study and research. 

Her undergraduate thesis ‘I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again: Exploring Sports Injury-Related Growth in GAA Athletes’ investigated the relationship between mental toughness, social support and sports-injury related growth in GAA athletes.

Her thesis also saw her crowned as the winner of 2020’s Psychological Society of Ireland All-Ireland Student Congress award for best presentation in the undergraduate category.  

Speaking on her achievement, the Castletown native said;

“I’m delighted to have my research recognised at such a high level. The challenges of the past two years have brought a renewed focus to mental health challenges and the process of navigating difficulties and the findings of my undergraduate research indicates that being mentally tough can have a significant positive influence on your growth following injury. However, this is totally dependent on social supports network, so the absence of that support can lead to low levels of growth. Previous research on recovery had mainly focused on male, professional athletes, so to be able to draw focus to females and amateur athletes as well was really interesting to me. Thank you to my supervisor Dr Niamh Higgins for her support and sharing her expertise with me during my undergraduate research.” 

Laura currently holds a Bachelor of Education in Education and Psychology and is teaching in Scoil Bhríde in Portlaoise.

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