Thursday, 23 November 2017

Third Year Sports Therapy Student Travels To Istanbul For European Championships

Third Year student, Callum Bloys, travels to Istanbul for the European Championships.

How did you get involved with this placement?

I first got involved with this placement back in February, when I responded to an email requesting students to conduct fitness testing for the England Amputee Football Team. Upon my response I found I was already familiar with the Head Coach as I had gained experience working with him on my placement at the Lancashire FA with deaf and partially sighted futsal players. I travelled down to Crewe that same weekend, then continued travelling down to Crewe from Preston for the monthly training weekends.

What was involved in the placement leading up to you traveling abroad with them?

My role within the team was predominantly elements of Strength and Conditioning/Exercise based. However, I did also gain some clinical practice in the build-up to the Championships. Responsibilities of my role included leading the team warm-ups before each session, conducting fitness testing, presenting results of testing back to the coaching staff, soft tissue management, pitch-side first aid and providing additional information regarding injury prevention/diet and gym based plans. For example, I attended the FMA conference in May and the following weekend I was with the team, so a task of mine was to prepare a presentation on developing resiliency/robustness in our athletes and to feedback any other key points from the conference.

How did this opportunity come about?

After attending a few of the training weekends I was informed that team was interested in taking me away with them to one of the international competitions we had this Summer. Originally the plan was for me to travel to Poland for the Amputee Cup in June but due to changes in staff I received the opportunity to travel to Istanbul for the European Championships. England Amputee Football Team are a charitable foundation and therefore lack funding from any governing body, therefore every player and member of staff was required to raise £750 for each tournament to cover the expenses involved with the competition.

How did you feel working in this environment? 

I was excited, apprehensive and was not quite sure what to expect before heading into the tournament. The goal of the team was to go there and win the tournament so from day 1 there was an element of high pressure upon myself to perform well. However, my clinical educators provided me with the opportunity to develop my confidence in a variety of ways. I was told from the beginning of the week that I would be given the lead responsibility with a number of tasks and my clinical educators would be there to simply oversee that I was practising in a safe manner. I was given the lead role in the delivery of the team’s warm-ups/cool-downs, hydrotherapy sessions and prehab sessions. It was my responsibility to speak with the players in the morning to obtain any information of who was carrying any knocks or injuries, I would then need to feed this back to my clinical educators and devise a plan or timetable for treatment. This was whilst consistently employing my injury management skills on a daily basis by carrying out subjective/objective assessments, developing treatment plans, and performing hands-on skills such as special tests/manual therapy/STM.

If you could go back, would you change anything about the placement or the experiences you had?

The only thing I would change if I could would be the timing of the placement, it was at the beginning of the academic year and in the medical team our average working day kept us busy for 16 hours. So I knew that I would be falling behind with assignment and proposal deadlines. However, to make sure I didn't fall too far behind, we maintained additional clinical work practice in the evening with my clinical educators after treatment sessions and team meetings. The long days were gruelling and there were times where I was working under a lot of pressure, but I loved every minute of the trip. The facilities we had access to were incredible, staying at the Turkish Football Federation Complex. The only other thing I would change of course would of been to have won in the final that night in Istanbul!

What was it like delivering a warm up in front of thousands of fans?

Leading the warm-up in front of 40,000 Turkish fans in the stadium was incredible and it’s definitely a moment I will never forget. I was amazed by the shear hostility and compassion of the fans who filled the Besiktas stadium that night. I also had to think about how I was going to present the warm-up as I couldn’t hear myself speak let alone what the players must have heard. However, I benefited from employing the same routine before every game during the tournament, this way the players knew exactly what they were doing through each stage of the warm-up with the prehab, mobiliser and stretching.  Overall the opportunity was amazing, it gave me a potential insight and some great inspiration for my future career as a Graduate Sports Therapist.

Review from Lead Academy Physiotherapist, Charlie Wilton;

“Callum came away with the England Amputee team to Turkey for the European Championships, his main goals were to effectively lead warm ups with clear concise communication and effective skills to warm up the players so they can deliver on the pitch and reduce the risk of injury.  As we went way other goals were discussed as to working with effective cool downs and also, pool recovery sessions.  These all focused around communication skills and effective exercise delivery to focus on within his goals. Callum was successful in reaching his goals in these areas are I feel was a growing in confidence and ability throughout the 10 days, he helped create a successful team that was injury free in the tournament and resulted in the team reaching the final.

Callum also was available in the injury clinic sessions where we assessed players and delivered soft tissue. He wanted to learn and practice in his skills in subjective and objective questioning and tests to look for weakness and injury markers. He did well and improved throughout the week on his communication of asking subjective questions and also explaining movement patterns and aiding in players understanding of self-management and importance of pre-hab work.

His soft tissue skills improved and he was a valuable member of the team and fitted in well as a person and I feel he learned a lot from his experience.”

Photo Credit: LAJPhotography @LajWarrington

Monday, 25 September 2017

1st Year Sports Therapy student, Ellie, discussing her year of work experience between studies.

Student Sports Therapist, Ellie, decided to make the exciting move to London between 1st and 2nd year of university, as she was accepted onto two fantastic Internships.

Ellie is now back at UCLan and ready to go for her second year of study, after gaining a years worth of amazing experiences. 
So here's just a little bit of information on how she got on... 

How did you find out about the internship/how did you get involved?

I found out about the Internship and work experience (with Isokinetic and Oaksey house) through pure chance. I must have sent off a minimum of 50 emails contacting various clubs and clinics, enquiring if they take students for work experience and/or placements. I remember thinking there wasn’t any point messaging them (due to one of them being a FIFA accredited medical centre and the other working with professional jockeys) as I didn’t think they would offer me anything at this point.

How did you feel at the time?

I remember getting confirmation that I got accepted for the two positions in the same week - I was elated! After sending so many emails and not getting any response back, I was starting to feel like there was no point trying. But it shows how perseverance is key.

What you have been up to over the past year?

In the last 12 months I have lived in in Lambourn to work with Oaksey House and in the centre of London to work in Harley Street at Isokinetic. During my time there I was working with some of the best and most iconic athletes in current and past times. I was also given the opportunity to travel to Bologna to visit centres over there and I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the Macclesfield Town U21’s set up as well.

How do you feel this has helped you as a Student Sports Therapist?

I can honestly say that these past 12 months have not only been the best in my life so far, but by far the most valuable. Learning certain things in the classroom is all well and good, however during your first year as a student these are all classroom or field based scenarios. My year out has not only enabled me to see real patients first hand, but allowed me to be a part of their journey and understand how variables such as disability/work and therapist-patient relationships are important factors in order for the patient to have a successful recovery.

I was lucky enough that in both settings that I was always treated as an equal member of the team, and I can’t thank Oaksey house and Isokinetic enough for giving me these opportunities. They have made me feel so much more confident in myself and my abilities, and they have helped to solidify the fact that I am sure I am going into the right field of work for me.

During the space of these 12 months I have completed over 600 placement hours, on top of the hours I achieved in my first year on placements.

What you are looking forward to in the remaining 2 years of your course?

In my remaining years at UCLan, I am looking forward to starting placements with Bury FC and hopefully getting experience working at sporting events too. I am also keen to get started on the rehabilitation and manual therapy modules (special tests in-particular), so I can learn the things I have observed during the past year for myself. I am also looking forward to completing my level 4 VTCT sports massage qualification this year, so I can start gaining a client base for massage before I graduate.

 “One of the things that impressed me the most about Ellie is how confident and professional she has been, despite being in a new and different environment and being so young. Since the very beginning of her internship she has always been able to provide treatments that completely fitted with the patients’ needs, inspiring trust both in the patients and in her supervisor…I strongly believe that someone able to provide such a high level of care deserves to be working in a challenging environment, where she will be able to shine and to further progress with her professional development.”  - A. Marconato

Isokinetic Medical Group, Fifa Medical Center of Excellence.

The Sports Therapy team would like to congratulate Ellie on her professionalism/commitment and dedication to study over the past two years at UCLan. Now onto the next two and to see what other opportunities are around the corner...

#RealExperience #Dedication #SportsTherapy #WorkExperience  

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Sports Therapy and Strength&Conditioning join forces ! #multidisciplinaryteam

Bobbie Butters – UCLan Student, Year 3 BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning

Bobbie is currently a 3rd year student studying BSc (Hons) Strength and Conditioning at UCLan. Bobbie already had a passion for powerlifting before she began her course at UCLan and describes the facilities the university offers for this as one of the main reasons she chose to study at UCLan. Students and staff in the UCLan injury clinic have aided Bobbie’s passion by treating her for injuries throughout her time at university.

In a recent interview with Bobbie, she explained her story at UCLan through her progression as an athlete and student -  

“Throughout my first year of university here at UCLan, I was recovering from chronic fatigue syndrome accompanied by chronic tightness throughout my body where postural deformities became evident. When I was doing the Olympic weightlifting I was doing a lot of the rehab myself but the university clinic has been a massive help in getting me back to being able to lift efficiently and in much less pain. To this day, the treatment I am getting is of a fantastic standard where the staff’s knowledge and understanding shines through their service and they are empathetic towards individual circumstances and tailor specific programmes and treatment plans as required. I cannot thank them enough for all of their support and service.”

“I have been seeing Verity in the Private on-site UCLan Physiotherapy Clinic for a number of months now, which has been excellent. Verity has also allowed the students to learn from my injuries by introducing me to the Student-Led Clinic for soft tissue treatment and injury assessment. This has allowed both the Sports Therapy students and I an opportunity to understand my injuries fully, and consider relevant treatments and management strategies moving forwards.”

“Over the past year, I have been able to start competing in powerlifting once again for GBPF so far I have competed twice where I went to the junior power lifting championships where I claimed four British records (Squat 147.5kg, Bench 85.5kg, Deadlift 165kg and total 398kg). I am now part of team GREAT BRITAIN that will hopefully lead on to the World championships in Minsh, Belarus June 2017.”

“This recovery process has been the hardest but most self-evolving experience of my life so far and now the experience has only positively influenced me as a coach, athlete and person. This solidifies that you get what you WORK HARD for, I love my sport and my choice of career path and I am willing to put in all the effort to get where I want to get to. ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

We would like to take this opportunity to wish Bobbie all the best in her up-coming events and final few months as a UCLan Student.