Elizabeth clinches master's degree after working in Gibraltar Island Games

13 December 2019

UCLan physio student provided specialist medical care to athletes at major international tournament

UCLan physiotherapy graduate Elizabeth Aitcheson has clinched another personal success just months after providing vital medical care support to athletes in the Gibraltar International Island games.

The 22-year-old, from Orrell, celebrated achieving a master's MSc Sports Medicine at UCLan this week just 18 months after graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy.

The achievement marks the culmination of a year which has seen Elizabeth travel to Gibraltar as part of the UCLan medical management team who assisted athletes at the Gibraltar Island Games.

"Studying at UCLan has provided me with massive inspiration to push forward with my career ambitions."

Elizabeth’s role as a venue medical manager involved supervising a dynamic group of sports therapy students to deliver emergency medical management and pitch side first aid during a multitude of sporting events; specialising in providing support to cyclists and other athletes at the Games. This included helping cyclists complete a punishing 4km climb up the rock of Gibraltar in searing temperatures.

The Gibraltar International Island Games attracted competitors from as far afield as the Faroe Islands, Jersey, the Isle of Man, St Helena and the Cayman Islands.

Elizabeth said: “It was a real thrill to be asked to be part of the support team at the Games and working as support to the cycling teams was a great challenge, particularly with the hot conditions and environment.

“We did have a number of injuries to treat during the events, particularly during the climb up the rock of Gibraltar where a number of cyclists were suffering from severe exhaustion.”

A keen sports player herself, Elizabeth played in the UCLan hockey team as an undergraduate and competed in the England Universities home nations tournament as well as competing against the Belgian Under-21s team.

Elizabeth added: “I think my own experiences as a player have helped to give me a good basic understanding of sports therapy so to now achieve an MSc in Sports Medicine has now given me the perfect incentive to pursue physiotherapy as a career.”

To help build up her experience, Elizabeth has now also begun her first-time job role working as a physiotherapist at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

Elizabeth said: “Studying at UCLan has provided me with massive inspiration to push forward with my career ambitions. One of the things that first attracted me to UCLan was the opportunity to work in smaller groups and this has been reflected as well in the support I’ve had from staff during my stay here.”