Jameel Shah, a graduate from the University of East London (UEL) is the 2016 winner of The Society of Sports Therapists’ Student Travelling Scholarship to Canada.
It’s been a whirlwind summer for Jameel who has another reason to celebrate as well– he has also gained a First Class Honours Degree in Sports Therapy. Jameel is the first graduate from UEL to win this prestigious award and he was clearly delighted when he heard his name announced:
“I am overwhelmed, I had no idea I would get this far. It’s a major achievement for me to be selected and I feel very proud.”
During his stay at the Green Shield Sports Therapy Clinic on the University of Windsor campus, Jameel will get to see pre-season training for many of the University teams and experience collegiate sport, first hand, Canadian style.
Jameel will also visit other specialist sports injury clinics in the area including the Loaring Physiotherapy Clinic, a large multidisciplinary sports physiotherapy centre catering for elite and Olympic athletes, and he will spend time with Kim Stroesser, Athletic Therapist for St. Clair College, a small University clinic that hosts brand new facilities and equipment. He will also spend time with Joey Garland, Athletic Therapist with the Windsor Spitfires, one of the most successful and highest level of youth development ice hockey teams in Canada. The final part of his trip will include visiting professional sports teams in Toronto including, baseball, ice-hockey and grid-iron football.
This should all prove invaluable experience for Jameel, which he will be able to add to his already impressive work portfolio. As a student he undertook a 12 month placement at Derby County FC in 2015 and, currently, works part-time at West Ham United FC Academy.
Jameel took inspiration from another Society Member Michael Cole in deciding to apply for the scholarship. ‘I have seen how well my Programme Lead in Sports Therapy, Michael Cole has done in his career and it has inspired me even more.’ Reflecting on the scholarship opportunity once it had finally begun to sink in that he was the winner, Jameel said: ‘There’s so much that it can offer – it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain some professional experience in a completely different environment.’
Canadian Athletic Therapist Kathy Harvie who, along with her colleague Dave Stoute, has guided the previous 7 winners of the award, flew over to the UKJ for the interviews. She said:‘Jameel prepared well and interviewed with great poise. His year out working with a professional football team plus the experience he has gained coaching abroad will stand him in good stead to hit the ground running.’
Kathy had also noticed a change in the graduates coming through for interview. She said: ‘From what I can see the graduates are getting even more top class practical experience than before, enabling them to write better applications and be more engaging in the interview.’
A surprise and very welcome visitor following the interviews was Society Member Lynsey Northeast, winner of The Student Travelling Scholarship in 2013 and now studying for a PhD at the University of Hertfordshire.. She took the opportunity to catch up with Kathy Harvie and was also able to have a chat with Jameel who was delighted to meet a past winner. He said: ‘Seeing how well Lynsey has done has inspired me even more to carry on trying to get as much experience as I can and build a good professional network in order to pursue my career.’
Professor Graham N. Smith, Chairman of The Society of Sports Therapists was also on the interview panel. He said: ‘This is the 8th year that we have awarded this scholarship for a recent graduate to spend time in Canada. Each year the number of applicants grows and the selection process seems to get significantly harder. This year was no different with the 5 who were shortlisted making it extremely challenging for the selection panel. In selecting Jameel I know that we have got, not only an outstanding ambassador for The Society of Sports Therapists but also a Graduate who has had an amazing personal and academic journey. Jameel graduates from UEL with a well-deserved first class honours degree classification. Being the 8th person to undertake the journey, it will have its own challenges but I am sure that Jameel will address these and continue to enhance both the reputation of The Society of Sports Therapists and the Sports Therapy Degree programmes that it accredits.’