SPACE at the Touch Rugby Euros 2016 JerseyNews
In July, SPACE provided squad sponsorship and physiotherapy cover for The Scottish National Touch Squads at the Touch Euros in Jersey. This was SPACE’s 9th year in the role and Stephen and Fiona, with SPACE associates Luke Smith and Lisa Erskine formed the Scottish medical team.
The SPACE Fab Four arrived to warm sunshine and the prospect of an action-packed 4 day event caring for the 112-strong athlete group. It was an incredibly well organised tournament with pitches in excellent condition for fast-ﬂowing, exciting Touch. This, combined with perfect weather, resulted in thankfully very few signiﬁcant traumatic injuries. However, as a result of good playing surfaces there were more diving-related grazes and cuts – and a signiﬁcant number of concussion (SCAT) assessments were undertaken. Thankfully all players passed these and were able to continue in the tournament.
Touch is a very intense and fast game and with teams playing upward of four or ﬁve 40 minute matches a day it is incredibly demanding. Towards the end of the tournament the SPACE team were kept busy with over-use or fatigue related injuries, mainly to soft tissue. When the body fatigues, old injuries can come to light again but the medical team were pleased to say there was only one individual who didn’t make it through the whole tournament due to a severe ankle sprain. It is always a source of satisfaction to keep everyone playing and performing well!
The performance of the squad as a whole was excellent and their professionalism in preparation continues to pay dividends in terms of ﬁtness, reduced injuries (particularly in the older players) and of course, in the all important results.
The Mixed Open Team were crowned European champions again cementing their place as one of the best mixed teams in the world. The Men’s Open team had a tough encounter with England in their bronze medal ﬁnal missing out after a drop-off but with many new players they will be hoping to do better at the next championship. The Women’s Open too had disappointment in missing out on a medal but will undoubtedly bounce back to show they are more than capable of great results. Similarly, the Men’s 30s did not have the tournament they were aiming for but with many new faces they showed great potential. The Women’s 27s played brilliantly with perhaps the best squad camaraderie and were unlucky not to come away with more than their excellent silver medal. Both the Men’s 40s and 45s played consistently well with the former winning the Simon Yarrow Memorial cup, Touch’s version of the Calcutta Cup, against England. Both squads went on to win very well deserved bronze medals bringing the total for the tournament to one gold, one silver and two bronzes – equalling the squad performance at the last championships. A massive congratulations to all involved from everyone at SPACE!
Words cannot describe the value of the Space Clinics team to the Scotland squad. I can 100% say with no doubt in my mind, that we would not achieve the success we achieve without their experience and hard work. They know the athletes and they know success. I cannot express enough thanks to the team and long may our partnership continue