July 2022

Sports therapy quartet gain ‘life-changing’ experience at London 2 Paris event

By Darren Campbell

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Young sports therapists training at University College Birmingham have been testing their talents either side of the English Channel to help cyclists in a charity endurance event.

Four students on the University's Sports Therapy BSc (Hons) course travelled hundreds of miles to work with more than 100 riders taking part in the four-day London 2 Paris event for Cure Leukaemia last month.

Accompanied by two of their lecturers, the group were on hand at various stops along the 300-mile route between the English and French capitals to provide cyclists with much-needed massages, injury consultation and post-event clinic services.

"London 2 Paris was a life-changing experience for me, both as an undergraduate sports therapist and as an individual"

Rhiann Jankie Sports Therapy BSc (Hons)

Having been required to submit a cover letter and undergo an interview to be selected for the crew supporting the event, the four final year students were able to gain not only vital hands-on sports therapy experience but also develop their employability skills.

Among those working at the event was Rhiann Jankie, who said the experience would be "massively" valuable for her future career.

The students provided a range of sports therapy services for the cyclists taking part in the gruelling challenge

"London 2 Paris was a life-changing experience for me, both as an undergraduate sports therapist and as an individual," she said.

"Being my first time participating in an event of this magnitude, I feel I have further enhanced my team-working, communication and practical skills which will benefit me massively in my career as a sports therapist.

"This was a dream of mine to put my passion into practice, and I am so glad I was able to achieve it. Hard work truly pays off."

Fellow Sports Therapy student Leonie Kelly-Wilson said: "The London 2 Paris event was the most amazing experience – I loved every minute of it.

"It really boosted my confidence and allowed me to use the skills I learned."

Riders were given massages and injury consultation at multiple stages along the route

Also among the group was Chanelle Glave, who described the event as "something I will never forget".

"I was excited and happy to be part of an event that was for a good cause," she said. "Meeting new people and hearing about their reasons, it made me want to work even harder to support them and offer encouragement to the whole team."

Meanwhile fellow student Hannah Aucutt said of her experience: "I am very fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of this event. Although we were there for work, it did not once feel like work."

The quartet were accompanied on the trip by Sports Therapy lecturers Lee Young and Kayleigh Jones, who commended the crew for their work.

"Providing opportunities like this is particularly important to us,” said Kayleigh, who is herself a graduate from the University’s Sports Therapy BSc (Hons) degree course.

“It develops our students as practitioners, providing them with skills and confidence upon graduation. This was even more apparent this year with the effects Covid-19 has had on the class of 2022.

"The students did a fantastic job on this event, remaining so positive throughout. The feedback from cyclists was outstanding and truly reflected how well the students performed."

In pictures: Sports Therapy students at London 2 Paris

It is not the first time our students have provided sports therapy for Cure Leukaemia, having worked with the charity at the Great Birmingham Run earlier this year.

Joe White, Head of Sports Events at Cure Leukaemia, said: "We were delighted to welcome four students onto our London 2 Paris cycle challenge after the excellent support they provided our runners with at the Great Birmingham Run.

"The cyclists were very grateful to have their expertise and support available after long days on the saddle during extremely hot weather!

"Having a dedicated team of sports therapists on hand at the end of each stage was invaluable to their recovery. We are looking forward to working with the team moving forwards."

Students providing therapy at last year's London Marathon

Hands-on training

The London 2 Paris event is just one example of the wealth of opportunities available for students on our Sports Therapy course to put their training into practice in the real world.

Previous students have also worked on a range of other prestigious events, including the London Marathon, Velo Birmingham & Midlands and Ride Across Britain.

Students have also supported professional athletes at major competitions including the Rugby World Cup, as well as working with top sports clubs like Aston Villa FC and Leicester Tigers RFC.

Are you interested in a career in the sports industry? Discover the full range of college, undergraduate and postgraduate courses within our Department of Sport and Nutrition.

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