October 2021

Sports therapy students get hands-on as University returns to London Marathon

By Darren Campbell

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Undergraduate sports therapists at University College Birmingham have had the chance to get hands-on experience at a major sporting event for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

A group of 35 students on the University's Sports Therapy BSc (Hons) and FdSc courses were in attendance at the London Marathon on Sunday to provide valuable treatment for runners representing a range of charities.

University College Birmingham has been supporting the London Marathon for more than 15 years, enabling students to put their sports therapy training into practice working with real clients.

"We couldn't do what we do without the support of volunteers like these students"

Charlotte Ulett Whizz-Kidz (www.whizz-kidz.org.uk)

Such involvement was not possible at last year's race due to Covid-19 restrictions preventing the usual mass participation. But with the 2021 marathon seeing the return of thousands of charity runners, the students once again had the opportunity to provide post-event treatment for those taking part – and gain vital real-world experience in the process.

Backed by lecturers Gareth Bate and Keith Ward, the second and third-year students provided injury consultation and massages for runners representing five charities: ActionAid, Sue Ryder, The Children's Trust, Prostate Cancer UK and Whizz-Kidz.

Charlotte Ulett, Events Fundraising Manager at Whizz-Kidz, said: "The students were incredible and patient, and once runners started coming in they really appreciated their massages.

"We couldn't do what we do without the support of volunteers like these students."

Tim Rogers, Sporting Events Executive at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "The team were phenomenal and all the runners spoke incredibly highly of them. We will definitely be in touch for next year's marathon."

In pictures: Sports Therapy students at London Marathon

Sports lecturer Matt Greasley said: "We are fortunate at University College Birmingham to be able to offer some fantastic experiences and opportunities for students to get involved within different areas of the sports therapy industry.

"The students benefit massively from getting involved in these, and we can really see a difference when it comes to their confidence, practical application and understanding with all areas of sports therapy."

The London Marathon is just one of many sports events University College Birmingham supports regularly, with sports therapy students enjoying a range of opportunities to apply their theoretical knowledge in the field.

Other past events have included Velo Birmingham and Midlands and Ride Across Britain, while others have even had the opportunity to work with top sports professionals at major competitions such as the Rugby World Cup.

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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