A group of 30 second and third year Physiotherapy students, assisted by staff from the University of Hertfordshire, delivered post-event massages to runners raising funds for the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society at this year’s London Marathon.
'Skye-Lucia Moore, one of the third-year Physiotherapy students involved, said: 'I’m privileged to have taken part in this inspirational event. There’s such a positive vibe and it’s great fun! I’ve really enjoyed working as part of a team, delivering much-needed care to these amazing runners, and also developing my soft tissue work in a real-life environment at the same time.’
Karen Atkinson, Professional Lead for the Physiotherapy programme, said: 'This is the fourth year running I’ve had the opportunity to support our UH Physiotherapy students as they provided post-marathon massage to runners raising money for the MS Society. This is an inspirational and life-affirming event that I would recommend to anyone – a way to be immersed in the experience without needing to be a runner. We were ably assisted by Chris Monize, a local clinician, and Tracy Burge, a physiotherapist with extensive experience of providing physiotherapy at elite sporting events. They were both extremely impressed with our students’ professionalism and hands-on skills.
'It’s a privilege to be part of this event; the runners (some of whom have MS themselves) are inspirational and their families and friends are so supportive. I would like to congratulate everyone involved for making this such an amazing day. For our students it’s a really valuable experience providing an opportunity to contextualize their practice; supporting the athletes at this event facilitates the development of problem solving skills needed to become competent professional physiotherapists.'
Runners were very complimentary about their massages and the professionalism exhibited by the students, with one runner commenting 'I was a broken man, but the students have glued me back together!' Another commented: 'This was a first-class experience. Thank you so much. A perfect end to a perfect day.'
Ellie Smith, the MS event organiser, added: 'The students did a fantastic job of helping our runners recover after their marathons; we had brilliant feedback from runners who said it was just what they needed after their run. Our team of 300 runners are on track to raise an amazing £600,000 for the MS Society, and the students were an essential part of ensuring they had a great race day experience – we can’t thank them enough.'
The University of Hertfordshire offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in physiotherapy, in addition to a number of short courses for professionals. Visit the Physiotherapy webpage for more information on courses and how to apply.