Working with sports teams boosts Heather's career ambition
Date: 22nd Aug 2019
A BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy student has praised the opportunities the course offers to work with professional sports teams, having enjoyed experience with Wycombe Wanderers Football Club and a placement with Windsor Rugby Club.
Heather Moor, who is about to start her third year on the degree, says the experience and the quality of equipment she has been able to use at the University will stand her in good stead when she enters the world of work.
What has your work with Windsor Rugby Club entailed?
“I have attended their weekly training sessions and the occasional game day where I have co-assisted to assess players and provide soft tissue massage, and also observed return to play rehabilitation for players both at the start of their recovery and those who are about to get back in to playing.
“Being with the club has been a great experience and getting to know all the players has been lovely!
“I feel like I have benefited a lot from this placement as I have been able to assist and observe physios on pitch side during a game and be able to see injury treatment on the playing field right up close.”
What work have you carried out with Wycombe Wanderers?
“I have attended many of their games at Adams Park, providing pre, mid and post-game massage and have also been at the club for pre-season training where we have provided massage and helped players with their rehabilitation programmes.
“This has been a really good experience as we have had the opportunity to work with elite players and see how fast pace the environment is and seen a different range of injuries compared to the rugby and seen the daily plans for their recovery.”
What other sports clubs have you enjoyed experience with?
“I have worked with Watford Football Club’s Academy and Oxford City Football Club, providing massage and observing injury assessments. I have really enjoyed both these placements as once again I have been able to gain a different viewpoint on what it is like working in a competitive sport environment.
“I was also among Sports Therapy students and staff at the finish of the Virgin Money London Marathon, providing much-needed massages to people running for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
“Being able to massage at the London Marathon was a massive honour, as we heard so many different and inspiring stories from the runners all-day long. We delivered hands-on massage, successfully directed patients to their therapists, and got the administration side of things done where patients were filling out treatment sheets.”
You also recently carried out work with Chesham Ladies Football Club in the Human Performance Lab at the University?
“As a group we tested the strength of the players’ quadriceps and hamstrings using a Cybex machine, measuring muscle strength and imbalance. This also gave us an insight in to whether there was an imbalance which allowed us to give suggestions and recommendations of exercises they could be doing.
“Another station was used to measure jump height using the jump mat and then a sprint speed test through timing gates.
"The final station was the Bod Pod which measures the players’ body fat percentage and weight. This was then followed by a nutrition talk which was specific to the player, dependent on their results.
“I spent a lot of the testing session on the Cybex machine ensuring the players were strapped in and comfortable and by the end of it I was conducting the whole Cybex assessment.
“This included setting the machine up, explaining the individual tests, and analysing the recorded data at the end, as well as calculating the muscle imbalance percentage.
"For the second part of the testing I was taking players through the BodPod process, again making sure they understood what would happen and what results would be expected.”
How has the experience benefited you?
“The experience has prepared me for the year to come. I have a particular interest in using the Cybex machine for my dissertation, testing for muscle imbalances, so being able to use the machine and increase my confidence with the software has been amazing!
"Working alongside a team of athletes has also been a great experience as you get a first-hand view of what life would be like as a team sports therapist, which is particularly useful for me as I have such an interest in fitness testing.”
How much are you enjoying the degree at Bucks New University and what have been the most beneficial aspects so far?
“I’m really enjoying the degree. I’ve met some amazing people over the last two years and have had so many amazing opportunities, like massaging at the London Marathon and being able to work pitchside, along with other therapists.
"Having such great equipment and working areas has been so beneficial. I have also benefited from face-to-face work with patients at our Sports & Wellbeing Clinic.”
Neal Reynolds, Senior Lecturer in Sports Therapy, said: "The degree has strong links with a number of sports organisations, many of which sit on the University’s doorstep, and Heather's experience so far is an excellent example of the opportunities students enjoy.
"We are proud to offer the opportunity for students to develop and practice the skills they learn at the University in a professional working environment. We believe the experience students gain is invaluable."
Picture captions: Heather Moor working with Windsor Rugby Club; and students working with Wycombe Wanderers FC and Chesham Ladies FC in the Human Performance Laboratory at Bucks New University.