Sports Therapy students from the University of Worcester recently completed a placement at a Spanish basketball club, Valencia Basket, which plays in the Liga ACB and Euroleague. The placement gave the third year students, Charlotte Byde, Rebecca Gwilliam and Katie Cousins, valuable insight into working in the sport at an elite level.
Last year, Head Physiotherapist at Valencia Basket, Pablo Martínez, gave an inspiring talk to the Worcester Sports Therapy students, which motivated the students to want to visit the world class Club and complete a placement there. This was possible due to the partnership agreement between the University of Worcester, owner of the Worcester Wolves basketball side, and Valencia Basket, the current Spanish basketball champions.
Their experiences at the Club ranged from rehabilitation classes to training preparation, as well as a day in the clinic, a game day and a tour of the facilities. They were also given some tips on taping techniques, which were different to what they had seen in the UK.
The placement added to the students’ existing Sports Therapy knowledge, with therapists taking the time to teach new techniques to the students. Charlotte said:
‘The training preparation sessions allowed us to learn their techniques of taping and mobilisations. It was amazing to see how differently things were done at Valencia Basket. For example, taping at the ankle utilised tape we’d not seen before, applied in such an organised path that it was hard to recreate at first! The therapists were very patient with us, explaining everything fully to ensure we understood each point and allowed us to practise on each other and film their techniques.
‘The game day was incredible. With courtside seats we were able to watch the players we had helped treat in action. I wish to continue studying abroad in the future and would recommend it to everybody wanting to build upon their knowledge and broaden their experience within the Sports Therapy field.’
Katie added: ‘It provided a new and different insight into the world of Sports Therapy.’
Each of the students found the experience beneficial and thoroughly enjoyed their time at the Club. Rebecca said:
‘If ever any of us had this opportunity again we would take any chance we had to go back out there, spend some more time with the medical team and learn a lot more about the treatment techniques, styles and rehabilitation exercises.’
Dr Darren Cooper, Senior Lecturer in Sports Therapy at the University of Worcester, said:
‘It's great that through this partnership we are able to offer our students the chance to do such unique work experience abroad at such a high profile club. Our students had a rare opportunity to see how professional teams operate behind the scenes and it is this kind of real-life experience that will help prepare them to enter the Sports Therapy industry and also give them greater insight if they wish to pursue a career in elite sport.’