SPACE at the Touch Rugby World Cup 2019News
SPACE is proud to be jersey sponsor to Scottish Touch having supported the Scotland team since 2008.
This week sees the SIXTH and latest edition of the Touch World Cup, and our collective experience, knowledge and nous has helped injured individuals attending our clinic in addition to the team out in Malaysia to help achieve the goal of representing our country.
How did we garner the awareness and knowledge of this sport? Essentially from the beginnings of the clinic in Edinburghs West End as very early on in the history of SPACE, our exposure to rugby in Edinburgh and the east of Scotland made us a natural home to players and clubs seeking our expertise, knowledge and skills in times of injury.
We therefore established good contacts and contracts with multiple clubs and organisations from our earliest days of 2005. We had managed players professionally of both genders from the late nineties, and by our opening day some of those women whom had successfully represented Scotland at rugby were spearheading structured touch, and still needing medical management ( you know who you were M-P & Smears). Additionally a close personal friend, Martin Macari, had prompted our interest in assisting the ageing players whom were being asked to train and play with increasing (and admirable) frequency.
Thus our first sponsorship arrangement took place with players playing under the Scottish Touch organisation: a mixed gender outfit which somewhat joyously encompassed players operating together in a mixed team playing in a European Championship in Edinburgh. The STA were aspirationally taking Touch to a new level beyond the midweek friendly sports around Edinburgh, and we were happy to help with planning, advice and ultimately tournament coverage.
Initially, then a single mixed team sponsorship led SPACE to assist in preparations for the limited numbers attending the 2007 Touch World Cup in South Africa, before we took on an arrangement with Scottish Touch encompassing the entire playing squad for the 2008 European Championships in a Paris suburb. The intensity of a tournament shocked us: this group of amateur sportspeople were pushing themselves several times a day multiple times across a weekend or longer.
Since then we have supported Scotland at each annual event, whether the biennial Europeans, or sundry other events alternating World Cups of 2011 in Edinburgh or 2015 in Coffs Harbour,Australia. Every time we supplied equipment, tape & support staff-not exclusively drawn from SPACE staff, but with our assistance and knowledge have helped develop young physios and a greater interest and understanding of the demands of this great sport.
The camaraderie extends to the friendships off the field, whether helping England’s lead physio with her MSc project in Touch injury epidemiology at a tournament, or the regular meetings with Team Wales’ stunning mix of Olympic and Commonwealth Ganes physio staff blended with enthusiastic newcomers and students gaining invaluable experiences and exposure.
So it comes to 2019, and a World Cup in Asia. Longtime collaborators in the Junior Touch scene, Lisa Erskine & Lucy O’Brien, will accompany longtime Touch supporter and SPACE director Stephen Mutch to Kuala Lumpur for the latest journey into Touch competition. Four teams have been training regularly, often in acclimation environments in heat chambers, and the commitment shown by these amateurs remains both stunning and inspiring. 40 minute matches, even with regular substitutions are hard enough, but taking the Malaysian climate of humidity and temperature into account means that this could be our most testing adventure yet. We may take more than 30 kgs of medical equipment with us but the key is between our ears, with decision-making remaining the biggest attribute we will have in KL.
This remains the premise for much of what occurs in SPACE. We prize the expertise that comes from observation, pattern-recognition and interaction with the people we come into contact with. Hopefully this comes across in our management of people-not clients, not patients but people.
We are looking forward to engaging with more people next week in Malaysia. Or Edinburgh. In the future where these skills our expertise can help more people with their aspirations and sporting pursuits.