The Changemakers: Dr Louise Galvin on hitting rock bottom and fulfilling her potential
In this month’s issue of IMAGE magazine, we talked to the Irish women who are making a big impact in their respective field.
Athlete, physiotherapist and campaigner
In November 2013, professional rugby and basketball player Louise Galvin experienced one of the most tragic things that can happen to someone – she lost her partner Alan unexpectedly from a brain haemorrhage. Since then, she’s turned her pain into purpose, commemorating Alan and raising awareness for organ donation through her work with Cystic Fibrosis Ireland.
Photo credit: Barry McCall
Personal or professional motto?
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
“One of the only constants in this world is change. We all have to roll with it to fulfill our potential, hopes and dreams. When Alan died, I was at rock bottom, but have since learnt to change my outlook.” Following Alan’s death, Louise moved from Limerick to Dublin, sacrificing her permanent job and her status as one of Ireland’s leading basketball players to become a professional rugby player with the Irish 7s squad. It was a pivotal moment of change that catapulted Louise to reach her full potential as an athlete going on to represent Ireland in the Rugby World Cup in 2017.
It’s not just sporting prowess that has made her a formidable athlete, but “dogged determination”, a trait she is most proud of. “I am an athlete, rather than a ‘female’ athlete,” she says with steeliness. “I want girls and boys, men and women, to look at someone like me and think it is not only achievable, but normal for girls to play sport, to represent their country, and for it to be their job.”
Biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your career?
“Everyone you meet is a new conversation and a fresh opportunity.”