Students’ medical success at Commonwealth Games
Three MSc Sports Medicine students volunteered at the major sporting event
Three University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) students put their medical skills to good use after volunteering at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
MSc Sports Medicine students Alison McCaul, Nagarjuna Marem and Suyash Gore undertook a variety of hands-on roles with athletes competing at the recent Birmingham-based sporting event.
Nagarjuna undertook four sessions as a field of play medical team member at the Arena Birmingham, which hosted the artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. Alison had three double shifts as a sports massage therapist in the athletes’ village while Suyash was a first team responder during six sessions of the rugby sevens, which took place at the Coventry Stadium.
Thirty-three-year-old Nagarjuna, from India, was part of a 15 strong medical team which rotated between the training hall and the main floor.
"It was a really fantastic opportunity. I’m so fortunate that the one year I’m studying in the UK is the year the Commonwealth Games is in Birmingham and I’m so lucky I’d got selected"— Nagarjuna Marem
He said: “Thankfully there were no major injuries, so my only job was to add ankle straps to a Singaporean gymnast’s ankle as her coach came over to ask for extra support to add stability.
“It was a really fantastic opportunity. I’m so fortunate that the one year I’m studying in the UK is the year the Commonwealth Games is in Birmingham and I’m so lucky I’d got selected. It was great being so close to the action and seeing the gymnasts perform. I also made so many contacts with the rest of the medical team so that’s great for future opportunities.”
The Games saw more than 5,000 athletes from 72 nations and territories compete in 19 sports.
Alison, from County Down in Northern Ireland, utilised her massage skills on approximately 40 athletes of all shapes and sizes.
"I worked on athletes from small islands and African countries, as the major nations had their own medical teams"— Alison McCaul
The 25-year-old, who is currently working in a private physio clinic in Manchester while finishing her one-year UCLan course, said: “Predominantly I worked on athletes from small islands and African countries, as the major nations had their own medical teams, but I did carry out some manual treatment of one member of the Scottish basketball team.
“Everybody is different, and techniques differ, so some athletes wanted deep tissue massages while others wanted a light treatment that was part of their pre-performance ritual.
“It was an absolutely amazing experience and what stood out for me was the level these athletes were at and understanding what each individual required.”
Russell Hitchen, Senior Lecturer in Sports Medicine, added: “The opportunity arose for these three students from our MSc Sports Medicine course. We are always trying to provide real world experiences to our students and I’m delighted they learned so much.”