BCU BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy students took a trip to the capital where they offered massages for runners who took part in the London Marathon 2018 – which happened to be the hottest London Marathon on record!
Teaming up with Children with Cancer UK, the event proved to be a valuable experience for the students, helping them to develop their skills and interact with clients.
Check out the before and after thoughts of Sports Therapy students Rachel Hutchison and Ryan Foster below.
If you are interested in studying Sports Therapy or would like to find out more then visit the Birmingham City University Sports Therapy course page.
You can also find out more by booking your place at one of our upcoming Open Days.
Before the marathon
What are your expectations of the trip to the London Marathon?
Rachel: I think it is going to be a great experience with plenty of opportunities to engage with people. I am expecting it to be very busy, with a great atmosphere.
Ryan: I am expecting to gain invaluable experience, being able to provide massages to inspirational runners. I am hoping to apply the skills I have learnt at University to an event environment which will benefit the athletes who have raised money for the Children with Cancer charity.
How are you feeling about the trip?
Rachel: I am excited about the chance to demonstrate what I have learnt throughout my first year of the course, while being in a new environment. However, I am a little apprehensive as you never know who is going to walk through the door or how they may feel after finishing the marathon.
I know that it is important to apply what I have learnt so far to help relax the runners.
Ryan: I am really excited for the trip as I have never been to London before or the London Marathon. I feel like the Sports Therapy team have organised this trip to help us understand what massaging athletes is really like, as well as providing us with the opportunity to practise our skills under a tight schedule.
What are you most looking forward to?
Rachel: I am looking forward to being part of a big team of therapists for the London Marathon and showing my support for the runners of the Children with Cancer charity. Also, proving to myself that I have the ability to perform massage as a student sports therapist which will build my confidence for future massage events.
Ryan: I am most looking forward to meeting and helping the amazing people who have raised money for the charity. I am also looking forward to experiencing being a sports therapist first hand in a professional environment.
After the marathon
How did you find the experience?
Rachel: It was an amazing experience, one that I would happily do again, as the appreciation from the runners and the charity was exceptional. Even after hours of massage, everyone carried on, as the reason for doing it was beneficial and gave me the encouragement to help as many people after their run.
Ryan: Overall the experience was amazing! I have benefited from learning what a fast paced massage scenario is like and also how much I would like to work in a similar environment.
What was your favourite part?
Rachel: My favourite part of the day was when the first runner came through the door and the atmosphere in the room was lifted. It was important for the runner to know how many people were behind them and supporting them when they were completing the marathon.
Ryan: My favourite part of the day was talking to the athletes and listening to their stories.
How will this help you on your course?
Rachel: Knowing that I can make a difference to people in their sport motivates me to learn more and develop my skills in helping people.
Ryan: The day will help me with my course because I now know how to interact with a client in the best way.
What charity were you working with? Can you tell us a bit more about the charity?
Rachel: Children with Cancer UK was founded in 1987 by Eddie and Marion O’Gorman, with the support of Princess Diana. Over the past 30 years, they have raised over £220 million to help the fight against childhood cancer.
What do you hope to do in the future after your course?
Rachel: I hope to finish my Sports Therapy course and go on to do a Masters. I want to work in the Olympics or run my own clinic, however this will need a lot of experience and time, but there is nothing stopping me achieving my goal. I am also hoping to get my PhD while in work so I can develop my area of interest.
Ryan: One day I would like to open a clinic specialised in helping children with special educational needs.
Find out more about studying Sports Therapy at Birmingham City University.