The last month brought me to spend two weekends in Cardiff working as a physiotherapist for the GB U20s Women’s Basketball team. Basketball featured at the London Olympic Games 2012 and is set to feature at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow 2014. I was lucky to have time off my private practice work at Kensington Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine to be able to do this. Thanks to my very understanding clients and clinic managers!
Working as a physiotherapist at training camps involves long hours, demanding and pressured situations, working closely with coaches, strength and conditioning trainers, managers and of course, the athletes themselves. The days started at 6 am and can roll on until 11pm. The intensity of work assessing, treating, rehabilitating, planning and liaising with the team varies greatly. One moment I could be court side contributing to chanting during practice and the next I can be on court assessing a suspected concussion which also having another player wanting an ankle re-strapped. The camp also involves other aspects of physiotherapy, similar to my private practice in London at Kensington Physiotherapy, including education. At this camp I led the first session on core stability training which was as challenging as teaching patients back in London. This is important for the athletes to avoid injuries to their backs, hips, knees and ankles. Just like my patients at Kensington Physio & Sports Medicine – athletes do the same exercises!!
So why do I put in so much effort? I quite simply love being a physiotherapist and I love sport! I love to learn and I love to work with both elite athletes and weekend warriors. I leave shattered but also revitalised and extremely ready to get back to my triathlon training which turns to mainly core work and stretching during the camps.
Many of these athletes are hoping to play for GB at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. I wish them every success and hope to be there with them supporting athletes each step of the way to help them to achieve their goal. This is replicated for each and every one of my clients – every one of you is like a professional athlete to me.
Ellen Goldsmith MCSP