Laura Delgudice, a Sports Therapy Graduate from the University of Hertfordshire has a thirst for knowledge, a spirit of adventure and an entrepreneurial business outlook which all add up to a fascinating Sports Therapy career to date.
The BSc(Hons) Sports Therapy Degree course at the University of Hertfordshire enables students to complete a placement year, either in the UK or abroad. Laura was fortunate to spend a year with AFC Bournemouth and with the first team medical department.
Based on her experience there, she decided to complete an epidemiology study of injury incidences and the efficacy of prehabilitation methods for her dissertation.
Such was the success of her time at the current Premier Division club and, based on her performance during her placement, Laura won the University of Hertfordshire Student Placement Award within her student cohort.
Laura then undertook her final year Sports Therapy placement at Ipswich Hospital NHS Orthopaedic and Fracture unit working under the supervision of Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon Mr Christopher Servant. There she gained experience within acute clinics, follow-ups and observed theatre sessions, all of which proved ‘a fantastic learning experience’ for Laura. She said: ‘I would urge any student to gain NHS experience at some point in their career.’
Life after graduating then took her in another direction and to a different continent. Laura said:
‘I decided to spend one year in Australia, during which time I worked at the GWS Giants AFL team in Sydney during pre-season. I worked within the first team Medical department and was fortunate enough to work with some of the most talented Sports Medicine professionals within the AFL industry. I learnt so much from this experience and I am particularly grateful to David Joyce and the Physiotherapy team.’
On returning to the UK Laura began working at Sportsmed East, a multidisciplinary sports medicine company in Suffolk. She said: ‘This opportunity allowed me to utilise all my skills as a Sports Therapist across private clinical practice, pitch-side management of local sporting teams, strength and conditioning for sports scholars at local boarding schools and assisting local care homes with mobility rehabilitation.
‘I was fortunate enough to work with some incredibly talented young athletes and members of staff during my time with Sportsmed East and the opportunity not only enhanced my sports therapy practice but also strengthened my knowledge as a practitioner.’
Laura is clearly a young woman with bags of energy, oceans of self-motivation and a willingness to help others. She said:
‘I decided to complete a volunteer project in Kenya for five weeks as part of African Impacts Medical project. During my time in Kenya I supported local orphanages with health care and teaching English and Sports, assisted local hospitals and the communities. This was an unforgettable experience and pushed me to utilise my skills in very limited environments.’
Laura also understands the values of getting as much experience as possible: ‘I have tried to keep myself versatile as a practitioner by completing Yoga Teacher training, Olympic lifting and Pilates instruction as well as improving my clinical skills by undertaking various short courses such as RPW Shockwave, Tool assisted soft tissue manipulation and CPD’ she said.
It was as a result of Laura’s time at AFC Bournemouth that her entrepreneurial spirit dovetailed with her Sports Therapy skills and together with colleague David Gardner, a Graduate Sports Therapist at AFC Bournemouth, set up an online data analytics platform called Celsporta. Laura said:
‘Essentially it’s an analytical application that caters to both individual Sports Therapists as well as the wider Medical departments, Coaches etc. The application can be utilised for data analysis of both individual athletes/patients and/or sporting teams. Celsporta can be used for injury analysis, athlete monitoring, load management strategies, injury management (notes facility) and team availability.’
Laura sees the platform as being of particular benefit to Members:
‘As Sports Therapists, working in both a clinical and professional sporting environment, and as the developers of the application, both David and I feel this would be of value to Members of The Society of Sports Therapists. We have seen the advantages of having such a platform and we want to make it accessible to our profession’ she said.
‘This business venture has significantly enhanced the quality of my practice and we have been fortunate enough to partner with leading sporting teams as a company to assist them with their analytics’ said Laura.
Therefore, if there are any Members interested in finding out more and wanting details of a special offer for Society of Sports Therapist Members only, they should log in to the Members area.