UCLan’s BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy course leader David Rhodes is Head Sports Therapist at Chorley FC in Lancashire. Within his role he has been able to offer placement opportunities to three UCLan sports therapy students across all three years of the course. These students were recently given the opportunity to run the pitch side element of the Lancashire FA Trophy Final game, held at the home of Bolton Wanderers, Macron Stadium. Nearly 1,500 people were in attendance on the night of the final, which saw Chorley FC first team take the trophy in a match against Lancaster City.
First year student, Paul Winstanley commented on the experience: “I felt it was a great opportunity for me being a first year student, as I didn't expect to get a chance like that until the second or third year. Being able to take part in the final was a great chance for me to put the skills I've learnt so far this year into practice in a real-world environment. Being able to practice soft tissue massage, stretching techniques and METs/PNFs, as well as getting a chance to put my Therapist/Player communication to the test was great for me to see how far I have come.”
Second year student, George Livingstone added: “I’ve been with Chorley FC since early November and I am really getting an insight into how my education and training fits into the sport working environment. Working at the Lancashire Challenge Trophy final gave me the chance to see what it was like working in such a highly regarded stadium and has motivated me even more to be as successful as possible.
“The experience I’ve gained from placement has made me realise that if I invest enough time into developing myself, I will be rewarded. I’ve been offered paid opportunities and the responsibility of taking control of game days when needed. At the Macron Stadium I spent the majority of the time preparing the players by massaging, stretching and taping when needed. I was also able to provide first aid cover at the game. The chances I’ve got through placement have been invaluable and I hope for even more like it.”
Callum Todd, who is in his third year of the sports therapy course, commented: “During my placement with Chorley FC I have learned a lot about how to deal with various injuries that I have not encountered during class or clinic. I have also developed my injury assessment skills and made them more specific and less regimental. I can now see the difference between clinical treatment and real life treatment which allows me to develop my skills in adjusting my treatments to suit my environment.”