The TWC Physio Team
6am starts, thousands of pounds worth of tape and 30 bags of ice became the daily routine for the 8 Physiotherapists and the Osteopath that made up the medical team for the Team England Squad during the 2011 Touch World Cup in Edinburgh.
The Team, lead by Physiotherapist Scott Smith, consisted of volunteers from Australia, Ireland, Canada and England, recruited to ensure that the 128 players making up the England squad, were in the best possible condition for their gruelling games over the 5 day tournament.
Each volunteer was assigned to a specific team to cover pitch side, however it was soon realised that one physiotherapist per team was not sufficient, after a succession of quite serious injuries!
Emma Crawford, M35 Physiotherapist commented:
œWhen telling my peers that I was going to be part of the England Squad physiotherapists, the comments soon came that it would be a doddle covering a non contact sport... How wrong could they be!
Two cases of rib fractures, a fractured wrist, numerous whiplashes and a concussion later the team soon identified that as the pools games finished, the semis and finals came thick and fast, there was added pressure on the players and consequently on the medical team and the physio's doubled up pitch side.
Thankfully the majority of the injuries that the team treated were ligament sprains and muscle strains. However the biggest test for the team was patching up these injuries, which under normal circumstances would require rest to heal, in order to allow the players to get back on the field.
The team had a good mix of skills and therefore a wide range of treatments were utilised including acupuncture, massage, manipulations and good old taping/strapping techniques. The team worked well together and everyone felt that they left at the end of the week having learnt something new.
However, it wasn™t all work and no play for the team...
Lee Ann Clarke, M40 physiotherapist stated: œIt™s very important as a physiotherapist to ensure that you maintain your clinical professional development. My time in Edinburgh certainly enabled me to do that in a very enjoyable way
David Vaux, MO Osteopath added: œMy cheeks were aching at the end of every day. I haven™t laughed that much in ages!
The camaraderie amongst all the team members was evident by all the players entering the Team England Physiotherapy tent. There was excellent clinical experience available in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The England Physio team was also selected to do the pitch-side work or the Europe V's Rest of the World.
So as the players of the England Squad brought home a gold, silver and bronze medal at the end of a long and exciting world cup, it should not be forgotten of the great work that the medical team volunteers undertook in order to help Team England reach their goals.
The medical team made some excellent friendships and hope to be able to meet up again to support England in their European Championship hopes.
A huge thankyou to Scott for keeping the girls, (and Cameron and David) in order! See you in Italy!(Written by Emma Knott Msc, MCSP)