University pairs up with Premier League club for third year in a row
Two third year sports therapy students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have successfully secured a year-long placement at Everton Football Club for the 2018/19 season.
Former Priestley College student Ellie Hayes from Warrington and Ryan Wilkinson from Manchester, who attended Ashton on Mersey Sixth Form, are the third pairing of sports therapy students from UCLan to be given this opportunity.
The placement will provide the 22-year-olds from the School of Health Sciences with the chance to work within an elite football club, as well as allowing the students to apply the knowledge and skills they have learnt at the University.
As part of their placement, they will work with academy players to assess and treat injuries and help with rehabilitation programmes as well as monitoring and screening the players and providing pitch side support.
Dave Rhodes, Course leader for BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy, said: “We have been developing the placement link with Everton Football Club for the last three years, giving our students the chance to experience an elite sporting environment at a premier league club.
“Ellie and Ryan were two of six students interviewed after the club reviewed numerous applications they had received for the placement. They will see and learn so much over the next year.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for them both to develop their skills in all areas of sports therapy practice and the University is very grateful for the opportunity provided by Everton FC.”
"We look forward to welcoming Ellie and Ryan to the department for the upcoming season and to see them develop throughout their time with us into competent and able practitioners ready to go out into the field of sports therapy."
Josh Jeffrey from Everton Football Club added: “The placement opportunity we provide at Everton Football Club has evolved over previous seasons and has been designed in a manner that enables the students to practically apply all aspects learnt through University in an elite environment of professional football.
“We have had great success with students going on into employment within elite level sport following the placement, utilising the experience and knowledge they have gained.
“We look forward to welcoming Ellie and Ryan to the department for the upcoming season and to see them develop throughout their time with us into competent and able practitioners ready to go out into the field of sports therapy.
“As a club, we are thankful to the University in the way they have provided support and flexibility for the students in order for them to get as much out of the placement as possible.”
Ellie Hayes commented: “I was thrilled to hear I had been shortlisted for an interview at Everton and to be one of the successful candidates is fantastic. I can’t wait to get started.
“To have the opportunity to work with an elite academy within their medical team for the season is an incredible privilege and I’ll make sure I grasp it with both hands.”
Ryan Wilkinson stated: “The University has been amazing at providing brilliant placements such as this at Everton FC. They have given me the skills and knowledge needed for me to progress as a sports therapist.
“Everton FC will help and guide me to become the best I can within my field.
“I’d like to thank UCLan and Everton FC for giving me this opportunity, and I am looking forward to the year ahead.”