physiotherapy provision for transplant sports
In 2001 I was honoured to be asked to accompany the British Team to the World Transplant Games in Kobe, Japan as team Physiotherapist. This arose out of the involvement of a Physio called Sandy Sharratt with the previous 2 World Games when she accompanied her sister Lesley, a kidney transplant recipient, who was competing. As a result of her hard work the importance of having Physio support for the athletes became recognised by the then TSAGB. Sadly for the team Sandy emigrated to New Zealand in 2001 but as she had been working at my Clinic for the previous year Sandy asked if I might be interested in taking over her role. I was delighted to be involved but had little idea what an impact the Games would have on me!
At that point I had my own Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinic in Kendal, Cumbria, and was heavily involved with Kendal Rugby Club, Sedbergh School Sports teams, and the Territorial Army. My experience in the sports arena started in Durham where I worked in the University Sports Injuries Clinic, and I also became involved with providing Physio support to the Army and Royal Marines training and sports events. Over the years I was fortunate to travel with the Marines to Norway on their winter training, to Greenland on expedition, and provide cover for various sporting events.
Japan was a whole new experience however and I was overwhelmed by not only the amazing stories that all the athletes brought with them but also the commitment and motivation to succeed. I was also saddened to learn of the lack of support both financially and professionally given to Transplant Athletes. Following discussion with Peter Griffin and Christine Evans I volunteered to provide a Physiotherapy service to the British Games and set about recruiting local Physios and students to provide the level of cover that I had been used to providing at other events.
The rest as they say is history! Hopefully many of you will now be aware of the service provided at the British Games and have probably seen us slaving over various couches, mats and tables! I do apologise however for the confusion over my surname as my practising name is Bloxham but my married name (and therefore passport name!) is Rhodes! Hopefully you can remember I am both people! I have also now been joined by a sports masseuse who will be helping on the massage side but also with nutrition and sports psychology input and advice.
In these pages I hope to provide some information on what we as Physios can do to help your training and how we can help in the event of injury. It is my ambition to provide the level of Physio cover usually routinely provided to athletes competing nationally and internationally.