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Sunday, 18 September 2011

CSSC Games in Loughborough

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We love Twitter. The reason being we are able to share information about our world - Sports Massage. It's also a great networking media. A few weeks ago we were invited, via Twitter, to help out with sports massage support at the Civil Service Sports Council Games at Loughborough University. An event held every 2 years, it brings together a lot of Civil Servants from across the country for 2 days of inter-departmental games. This year the Games were held on 15/16 September. The disciplines range from Football, Netball, Hockey, Chess, Athletics and Squash, and are hotly contended.

Lynne and I drove down to Loughborough early on Thursday morning, and registered with the organisers. Two other therapists were also around, but it took then a little longer to get through the early morning traffic on-site (lots of construction works going on). We divvied up the events between us, and split off to go our separate ways. Lynne picked Zone 1, which had its own treatment room, and the bonus of being equipped with a hydraulic couch and ice dispenser (she found that out on arrival at the room). Her main sports to look after were Netball, Touch Rugby and Badminton. I got Zone 2, and I set up in a small tent outside the rubber crumb AstroTurf of the Seniors Football tournament. A second lot of Netball courts were just around the corner, as was table tennis, and I was led to believe that Swimming was very close as well, though I never actually saw any of the swimmers.

Tom, from Whiteway Fitness was over at the Hockey Pitch, and Matt was down at the Rounders area, and our days were very different.

Netball in action
From the football perspective, most of the guys were very used to playing football on a fairly weekly basis, either 5 or 6-a-side. The refs were all very jovial, and the organisation was excellent. For the vast majority of Thursday I was inundated with footballers with Lower Back Pain or tight calves, sometimes both. The refs also came for treatment. I managed to sort out pretty much everyone that came to see me. As the day went on, there were a few more specific problems that I ended up dealing with, tight piriformis, taping up the wrist of a netball player, and helping out a table tennis player who had done something particularly nasty to his back in his last game of the day.

I was very happy at the end of the day to have a number of players thank me for helping them play on through the tournament when they thought they were going to have to pull out with painful calves and tight lower backs, so that was great. The second day was much of the same, but with a couple of potentially more serious issues. The footballers who play quite often were fairly philosophical about it. Sprained ankles, twisted knees etc. I told them honestly that it probably wouldn't be such a great idea to play on, and they listened. I was a little surprised about that, but all credit to them, they realised that the games weren't the be all and end all, and they wanted to be able to walk home as opposed to play through injury and make it worse.
Badminton finals underway

The second day also saw me head on down to the netball courts where I helped treat a few sprained ankles (much worse than the footballing ones), a couple of knees that needed taping up, and persuasion of a few people that it really wasn't worth their health to go back on court even if it meant losing. The netballers are a hardheaded lot, and no matter what the injury, a number of them just wouldn't back down, and went back out - mostly because they didn't want to let their teams down. As a therapist and first aider, you do what you can, but you can't change the mind of someone who wants to play on.

By the end of the second day I think we were as tired as the players, despite not running around anywhere. It was a great couple of days, and a brilliant experience to work in a situation that we don't normally find ourselves in. Thanks to the organisational guys, especially Neil from proFITme who made contact with us initially, and the volunteers who helped make it all happen and make it all run smoothly. We hope our small contribution helped to make the games a success for the participants.

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