University of Chichester Graduate Zoe Hughes-Jones was this year’s winner of the University of Windsor Travelling Scholarship. Athletic Therapist Kathy Harvie had travelled to England in July to be part of the interview process, and together with her husband John were both at -Windsor Airport to meet their 9th Society of Sports Therapists’ Graduate Winner.
It’s clearly been a hectic start for Zoe, but we had a brief chat with her to see how things were going.
You had a whirlwind lead - up to your trip, how did you feel when you finally set foot on Canadian soil?
It felt so good to finally arrive in Canada after a long few days of travelling (I was in Bali for 10 days beforehand). Kathy and John were standing at the Arrivals lounge when I arrived and it was easy to spot them as Windsor has a very small airport! We went out for dinner that evening to try and keep me awake for a bit longer, so I could adapt to the different time zones.
Did you have a few days to get used to the new surroundings?
After some much needed sleep, I went into the University at around 2pm to meet everyone I was going to be working with and it has been all go since that day!
What were your first impressions of the University + Clinic? What struck you as different from your own university?
After having researched the university before coming to Canada, I already had an idea of what it would look like. However, it surpassed all of my expectations and is a true representation of a Canadian University. The clinic is perfect for the athletes and I love the fact they have a separate room just for taping; something you don't usually see back in the UK!
What have been your main activities over the first couple of weeks?
I have been based with the Football team, as it was their pre-season summer camp. They had double practices most days and I was in the clinic taping from 6:30am so they could be out on the field at 8am sharp. Players soon started coming in with injuries so I spent time with them in between being out on the field covering the practices.
How has life been in the clinic with Dave and team?
Everyone has been so welcoming at the University; including Dave, Natalie and Adam in the clinic and all the coaches and supporting staff. I am learning new things every day and am always being challenged. Dave always brings in Tim Bits and coffees on game day which is just what we need to get through the day.
Have you watched any matches or been pitchside?
I have been pitch-side for all of the Football games and practices which has been a great experience so far! There is always something to be doing and the players are slowly teaching me the rules of the game as it's a lot more complicated than football back in the UK! I have also been pitch-side for one of the men's basketball games; I didn't realise how quick the game is until now. With my love for football, I have also been watching their games when I have the opportunity.
Have you had any time for any socialising?
I have been able to get out and about a bit including visiting the casino, walking down by the Detroit river, experiencing a Canadian night out in the bars and Kathy has taken me to their shopping malls over here!
Have you had the seal of approval from Andy and Amos?
Andy and Amos are beautiful! They are always there to welcome me home after work by jumping up at the fence and barking like crazy. We also looked after John's daughter's dog (Murphy) for a week or so and he was just a puppy and he was also adorable!
And the Best bits so far?
I loved watching the first American football game with the players running out of the tunnel to a pre-mixed song and hearing everyone go mad for it.
I have honestly loved every minute of my experience so far and cannot wait to see what the rest of it has to offer.
We look forward to hearing more news from Zoe in due course.