Shetland student gets early birthday present

Emma Leask, RGU graduate

A Shetland student is on cloud nine following her graduation from Robert Gordon University (RGU), just two weeks after winning two silver medals at an international sporting event.

Emma Leask, 23, graduated alongside her classmates with a BSc (Hons) in physiotherapy at a ceremony at Aberdeen’sHM Theatre yesterday ahead of her 24th birthday today.

The former pupil of Lerwick’s Anderson High School has now added her First Class degree to her list of achievements during her time at RGU, where she was an RGU Sport Scholar and president of the athletics club.

As a Sport Scholar, Emma benefited from a tailor-made package of support from the university, which helped her combine her athletics training and competing with her academic studies.

Through her dedication, she had a number of successes throughout her degree, including her two latest silver medals for the 800m race and 4x400m relay at last month’s NatWest Island Games.

Miss Leask said: “I’m really proud of my athletics achievements and managing to fit that side of my life in with studying towards my degree. Particularly my final semester in the run up to the Island Games, where I was dealing with injury and writing my dissertation.

“I have been lucky to have made so many amazing friends through my three years as president of the athletics club, who supported me every step of the way. Without them, moments like winning a medal at the BUCS Indoor Championships or being awarded with Full Blues wouldn’t be the same.”

As a teenager, Miss Leask knew she wanted to undertake further education and eventually work in healthcare, but she decided to take some time to consider her options.

After a spell in Guernsey working as a nanny for two years, she became attracted to the idea of physiotherapy and began to look into studying the course at university.

She said: “At first, it was the links between physiotherapy and sport that appealed to me, but when I really examined degrees I discovered the wide range of specialities within the field and knew that it was what I was looking for.

“I remember how welcoming the lecturers were at my RGU interview and thinking that, not only did the university have a great reputation for physiotherapy, but there was such a nice atmosphere around the place.”

Having made a rousing success of her time at university, Miss Leask is heading back to Shetland to work as a qualified physiotherapist at a private clinic called Injury Shetland.

She said: “I am excited to be able to put my skills to good use back at home, though in the long-run once I have more professional experience, I hope to apply for a job on the mainland.

“Looking back, I’ve loved every moment of my time at university – from working closely with my great classmates to balancing my studying and training – and I am really proud that I’ve managed to come away with a First Class Honours degree at the end of everything.”