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Outstanding Canada Travelling Scholarship for Graduate Sports Therapist Danielle Turnbull

Leeds Beckett University Sports and Exercise Therapy Graduate, Danielle Turnbull, has arrived back on home soil after an action packed few weeks in Canada. Danielle was the 10th winner of The Society of Sports Therapists’ University of Windsor Travelling Scholarship. She was hosted by Athletic Therapist, Kathy Harvie, and her husband John during her time in Canada. This was also the 10th year that Kathy and John had received a Society of Sports Therapists Graduate into their home.

During the first part of her trip, Danielle, who has represented Great Britain Universities Women’s Ice Hockey team, was based at the Green Shield Sports Therapy Clinic at the University of Windsor, with Athletic Therapists Natalie Paladino, Dave Stoute and Adam Ellwood.

If you didn’t manage to read about the first part of Danielle’s trip, which included experiencing football camp Canadian style and life in the Clinic with the Athletic Therapy team, you can read about it here:

Canadian life didn’t seem to slow down for Danielle during the latter part of her trip. We caught up with her again to find out how she got on in her final few weeks and to hear about all the people who inspired and motivated her along the way.  Here are some more thoughts on the experience.

How was life after Football Training Camp?

After the open access of training camp had finished, the Clinic at the University became appointment only, so my days were normally spent treating athletes who wanted a last minute appointment or assisting with rehabilitation programmes, after patients had received treatment. Although the Clinic was always busy it was not as intense as training camp due to set time scales.

After training camp had finished, I spent half my time at the University and the other half at St Clair College Athletic Therapy Clinic with Kim Stroesser, who manages the Athletic Therapy there. There were lots of patients to treat at St Clair so I was always kept busy. I had visited St Clair during the first few weeks of my stay so I was excited to go back. Kim is a great therapist and I have learned lots from her experience.

Following on from football camp, how was the first home game for the Windsor Lancers football team?

Surprisingly for Canada, the first home game of the season was delayed due to a thunder storm so we were not able to get set up in advance. Dave Stoute, Athletic Therapist at the Clinic, brought in 50 Timbits (a bitesize version of the traditional Tim Horton ) for the Athletic Therapy Department so we enjoyed the Timbits while the storm passed.

Once the storm had passed we had to quickly set up the bed and carry all the equipment out to the field ready for the game. The atmosphere was exciting but there were also a lot of nerves due to the added suspense the storm had caused.

The Lancers ran out through an inflated tunnel to a remixed song which was very cool! The game was very exciting and attracted a large crowd.

After the game Kathy, John and I enjoyed a pizza from Sam’s Pizzeria, their favourite local restaurant - (they knew my order by the end of the trip).

Did you get to work with any other teams?

In my earlier report I mentioned getting to work with soccer (UK football) and I was pitch side for a women’s football game against the USA development team.

I also got to work with Kathy again and Strength and Conditioning Coach and Athletic Therapist Joey Garland. Joey is the former Head Athletic Therapist of the hugely successful Windsor Spitfires Ice Hockey team and is now Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Lancer women’s basketball programme. I was with both of them for the women’s basketball team fitness sessions. This enabled me to work some more with Kathy and identify potential injury risks, highlighting a new element to my role. It also gave me time to talk to Joey and he was really helpful as he gave me tips for the future and talked to me about business. Joey is currently setting up a gym, so I asked him about things to consider if I was to potentially set up my own business in the future. The biggest message I took from Joey was not to sell myself short and to work hard.

I got to visit and meet a number of other exceptional people who are excelling in their careers which was really inspiring and motivating.

Mary Brannagan is a highly respected Physiotherapist in Canada with an outstanding reputation. I really enjoyed working with Mary as, like Kathy, she has a biomechanical perspective and looks at the ‘big picture’ for the cause and treatment of injuries. It was fascinating and extremely beneficial to my development as a Sports Therapist to watch Mary work.

I also got to meet Deanna Iwanicka, the new Head Coach of the women’s ice hockey team. It was good to meet Deanna in order to find out her perspective on the importance of an Athletic Therapist (Sports Therapist) and her expectations for the upcoming seasons. As well as this, we talked a lot about hockey and the difference between hockey in the UK and Canada.  After my meeting with Deanna, I got to attend a practice; I was very envious because I was dying to put my skates on and join in!

Finally, I visited Loaring Physiotherapy Clinic, a truly mulit-disciplinary Clinic where a high volume of patients are treated every day. It was great to meet Charlotte Loaring, Physiotherapist and owner of the Clinic, and the Team and observe their multi-disciplinary approach to treatments. The Team includes physiotherapists, kinesiologists and sports masseurs. The Clinic is open plan so practitioners work side by side, allowing staff to work together. I thought this was a really interesting format for running a clinic. This Clinic was not just for athletes; I also got to see patients from a multitude of backgrounds.

Did you get to go to any professional games?

I got to see the Windsor Spitfires hockey team in their first home game of the season. It was really exciting to see the how big ice hockey is in Canada. The arena was full and there was a band playing during breaks in play. That’s something that never happens in the UK.

Did you get to do any more sightseeing?

After my time in Windsor, I went sightseeing in Toronto and got to see the wonderful Niagara Falls! I would recommend to anyone going to Canada to see the Falls and take a trip on the Maid of the Mist!

 What do you feel you have learnt from the experience?

The biggest thing I have learnt from my experience in Canada is to look at the big picture. Kathy told me that it was important to do something to make the patient feel better and then do one thing to help prevent the injury happening again. That message will be something I always think about going forward.

I also learnt to have confidence in myself as a Graduate Sports Therapist. I have received the best teaching from Leeds Beckett University which has prepared me to go out and practise. I have learnt to trust what I have been taught.

How has the experience benefitted you as a Sports Therapist?

The experience gave me a lot of confidence and I can’t thank The Society of Sports Therapists enough for giving me this incredible opportunity and the boost I needed for the future.

Have you got any plans for your career going forward?

I am currently in the process of job hunting! Fingers crossed.

Finally I have a long list of thankyous

I would like to thank firstly, Professor Graham Smith, Maggie McNerney and The Society of Sports Therapists for this once in a life time opportunity! This experience allowed me to put into practice my learning and gain a lot of confidence. It will be something I will never forget so thank you once more!

I would also like to thank Leeds Beckett University for preparing me for the future and giving me the knowledge and skills I needed to be a good Sports Therapist.

Thank you to Helen Llewellyn for motivating me and encouraging me to go outside my comfort zone to apply for the Travelling Scholarship. I owe Helen a large cup of tea for going the extra mile.

To Kathy for inspiring me every day and for encouraging me to be not only the best Sports Therapist but also the best person I can be. I would also like to thank both Kathy and John for letting me stay at their home, including me as part of their family and encouraging me to try new things! Although, sprouts are still not my favourite vegetable even though they were cooked wonderfully!

Thanks to Kim Stroesser for going above and beyond to make my experience enjoyable and for having confidence in me.

To Dave, Adam and Natalie, for including me as part of your team and giving me the opportunity to work in the GreenShield Clinic, and supplying me with Timbits.

Thank you to Mary Brannagan, Deanna Iwanicka, Joey Garland and Charlotte Loaring for taking the time to give me advice and making my experience.

Thanks to the Windsor Lancers for being so kind to me and really making me feel like part of the team.

To Jess, Michaela, Matt and Veronica for being great friends!

And finally, thank you to my wonderful family and friends from the UK, without whom I wouldn’t be who or where I am today. 

Professor Graham Smith, Chairman of The Society of Sports Therapists said:

‘After visiting the University of Windsor following Danielle’s visit, I realise what a significant impression she made during her time there. As the tenth Graduate to be selected, it was always going to be a challenge because she would be compared to those Graduates who had gone before her. To say that Danielle impressed all of those colleagues she spent time with would be an understatement. I felt very proud of both Danielle and Leeds Becket University for producing such an outstanding ambassador for the Society to send.

I’s also like to thank everyone at Windsor for making Danielle’s trip so good and for all their support over the past 10 years. Kathy, John, Dave, Loriann, Charlotte, Joey, Kim, you have all been vital to the success of what we have been able to achieve with our collaborative links and The Society of Sports Therapists thanks you all.

For Kathy, John and Loriann you are fantastic friends and hosts.

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