Society Member Nick Gardiner is the Academic Group Lead for Sports Therapy and Sports Science at London Metropolitan University and last year proved to be a very successful time for both Nick and his team. Nick contributed a chapter in one of the world’s most famous sports injury books and the department scooped the London Metropolitan University Staff Excellence Award 2017 for an outstanding contribution to the University.
Aldo Lena, a Lecturer in Sports Therapy at the university, caught up with him to find out more and he shared his thoughts with us.
Nick’s areas of specialism are sports rehabilitation, electrotherapy and enterprise and for 9 years up to 2016, he ran a number of successful sports injury clinics in both Cambridge and London.
Nick, how do you feel about your contribution to this very successful clinical sports medicine book?
I was honoured to be asked to be a part of such a prestigious publication. 13 years ago, as a first year student at London Met, Clinical Sports Medicine was the first book I bought and it became a well worn companion right through to my clinical practice. Having taught electrotherapy for a number of years it was a pleasure to review the latest literature and provide guidance based on the current evidence. I am also very grateful to my colleague Raffaella Pontonutti, who provided a lot of help throughout this process.
How were you approached to provide your expertise for this book?
I got to know Professor Karim Khan after he kindly agreed to be a keynote speaker at the inaugural 2009 Society of Sports Therapists’ Student Conference hosted at London Metropolitan University. Karim asked me to a provide a small contribution about ultrasound for a previous edition of Clinical Sports Medicine before inviting me back for this latest edition.
Why do you think this book is useful to Sports Therapists?
I see this as the core text for our Sports Therapy and Sports and Dance Therapy courses at London Met. Karim has a great understanding of what Sports Therapy means. This has always come across when he has spoken with, and inspired our students and it is evident throughout the book. The book provides the context that the students and graduates need, and is something we recommend they invest in from their very first day.
Do you think that Sports Therapists are now becoming more recognised as knowledgeable healthcare professionals?
Absolutely. There were just 4 universities offering Sports Therapy when I was a student, the market demand and recognition among the general public, main stream and niche sports has seen that grow to 32 accredited programmes. The other shift I have observed over the past ten years is the frequency with which roles for Sports Therapists are now advertised which is really encouraging. The Society of Sports Therapists work very hard with governing bodies and organisations to continue to raise the profile of Sports Therapy, their recent work to forge opportunities within the NHS being a prime example. I’ve also seen many instances of great work being done by Graduate Sports Therapists in the field which is all helping to enhance the reputation and recognition of our discipline.
Top Marks for Nick and the Sports Therapy and Sports Science Team
2017 was a very good year for Nick and his Sports Therapy and Sports Science team. The team was awarded the Staff Excellence Award 2017 for an outstanding contribution to the University.
The department scored some pretty impressive marks and showed huge improvement on the previous year. Here’s just a few of their results
- NSS (National Student Survey) from 66% to 94%, the highest in the University.
- DLHE (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education) from 94% to 99%.
- Recruitment up 26% for BSc Courses and 60% for MSc Sports Therapy.
- Embedded REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals) into sports courses.
- Staff development initiatives including succession planning, work shadowing, team and individual coaching.
- Collaborative development of group values and focus on workplace happiness.
The award was presented by London Metropolitan University’s Vice Chancellor Professor John Raftery
From left to right: Aldo Lena (MSST), Roger Gossett, Mia Preece (MSST), Professor John Raftery (VC), Raffaella Pontonutti (MSST), Georgia Whitfield (MSST), Joanna Jenkins (MSST), Karl Grainger, Paul Starrs, James Davis and Nick Gardiner (MSST).
Congratulations to Nick and all of the Sports Therapy and Sports Science staff – a brilliant achievement.