Each year The Society of Sports Therapists AGM is held within an educational seminar which is very much member focused. This year was no exception, as presentations were given by three Members, all with completely different perspectives. Professor Graham N. Smith, Chairman of the Society reflects back on what was an excellent seminar from three highly talented individuals.
‘The first presentation by Jameel Shah was an overview and report of his trip to Canada. As the winner of the 2016 Student Travelling Scholarship and a First Class Honours Graduate from the University of East London, Jameel was actually the 8th winner of this specific award and consequently was faced with a difficult presentation to give.
As presenting the report is a requirement of winning the award, Jameel was following seven other Members who had previously done similar reports. However, he was able to change the perspective by focusing on experiences that he had undertaken which the majority of those before him had not. These included visiting and meeting with the Canadian Royal Ballet and experiencing the dedicated Athletic Therapy Clinic within York University, in Toronto. Added to his stories of the time spent with colleagues and friends of the Society at the University of Windsor, Jameel’s presentation was warmly appreciated by the Members attending.
The next presentation was given by Tom Cresswell, winner of the 2016 Bruce Hobbs Travelling Scholarship Award. Tom, who had actually won this award previously and on that occasion spent time at the US Ski Centre in Colorado, had this time been to visit Bill Knowles at his HPSports facility in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Bill is a highly respected and extremely well known reconditioning and athletic development specialist who is frequently asked to present and consult internationally. His centre regularly receives athletes from a variety of sports from across the globe. These may include Premier League footballers from the UK, elite Australian Rules footballers, as well as NFL and NBA stars from the USA.
Tom’s presentation not only told the story of his visit but also included some excellent video clips of Bill in action with his patients. This was something that all the Members attending found both enjoyable and extremely educational.
The final speaker, after the formal proceedings of the AGM, was Danielle Ritson. Danielle is a Lecturer in Sports Therapy at the University of Gloucestershire and she presented on some of the research that she had been involved in as a part of her PhD studies.
The specific project was one that her University had been invited to participate in looking at neuromuscular readiness to re-perform and injury risk in elite male youth academy footballers. The collaboration was between the University of Gloucestershire, Athletic Club which is also known as Athletic Bilbao from the Basque Country, Spain, and the University of the Basque Country. The work showcased some early data from the international research collaboration.
The research developed as a result of an increased injury rate seen at Athletic Club and previous projects completed by Professor Mark De Ste Croix, Professor of Paediatric Sport and Exercise at the University of Gloucestershire, with FIFA, the international governing body of football.
As someone who confessed that she knew nothing about football, Danielle was able to record data with an objective perspective rather than that of a football fan. It was also something that many of the Members attending appreciated, especially those who had worked in football themselves. Hopefully Danielle will return to future AGM seminars as her project and research develops.
As Chairman of The Society of Sports Therapists, I always enjoy these seminars and feel extremely proud of the Members who present. I feel honoured to have the opportunity to hear them and often wish that more Members were present at what is frequently perceived as a formal necessity. However, the seminar, the quality of the presentations and the knowledge and the enthusiasm of the Members who present, is definitely something of which the Society must be proud. Therefore, thank you to Jameel, Tom and Danielle for a great evening.