Physiotherapy graduate Kerryn Harrington is carving out a multi-faceted career in football.
For Kerryn Harrington, a La Trobe physiotherapy placement at Carlton Football Club was the beginning of a career-defining move.
After 10 years playing professional basketball, Kerryn made the switch to football to play for Carlton in the 2018 AFL Women’s season. But her connection with Carlton doesn’t end as an athlete, having also worked in the club’s physiotherapy team.
Now, Kerryn splits her time between her burgeoning AFLW career and her physiotherapy career in private practice and at Carlton.
Kerryn said it was exciting to witness the rise of women’s football in Australia.
“One of the things that really attracted me to footy was the platform it has created for women’s sport,” Kerryn said.
“It’s been really exciting. The first season was a whirlwind experience and I’ve absolutely loved being part of the team.”
Kerryn completed her studies at La Trobe’s Bendigo Campus where she graduated with a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Masters of Physiotherapy Practice. Throughout that time she also competed in the Women’s National Basketball League.
As a member of the La Trobe Elite Athlete Program (LEAP), Kerryn received additional support to successfully balance her academic and sporting pursuits. LEAP recognises the unique needs of students who compete in sports at an elite level, offering academic and pathway support as well as the opportunity to apply for specific athlete scholarships.
“Being part of LEAP was huge for me,” she said.
“I had a support network around me at La Trobe, and it meant that my sporting career and my academic career could exist side by side without one being a deterrent for the other.”
Kerryn says securing a work placement at Carlton as a student also gave her career a boost.
“It was a huge opportunity getting the placement at Carlton because there aren’t too many opportunities to learn in a high-performance sport environment like that,” she said.
“It gave me the opportunity to gain experience while I was still studying, and that led to a great job in my first year out of university.”
Looking ahead, Kerryn says she is excited to pursue a career in women’s football as the league continues to grow.
“I want to continue playing and gaining as much experience as I can, and then when the time comes and my playing career is over, I’d love to be able to move into physiotherapy in football full-time,” she said. “I’m just excited about what’s to come.”
Last updated: 8th May 2019