SPACE at the World University Games 2019News
We are incredibly proud to have our Clinical Director Stephen Mutch out in Naples at the World University Games supporting the #GBStudents. Read below for Stephens thoughts on the latest games and their impact on the clinic…..
Why do multi sport events benefit patients at SPACE?
How does the GB Students squad benefit from SPACE Clinics and its patients?
Firstly, the Universiade or World University Games, is a biennial multi sport event being held currently in Naples in the south of Italy.
It is the 2nd largest sporting gathering after an Olympic Games: even though this is a smaller version (due to Naples agreeing to host after the original host Brasilia withdrew) there are still over 8000 competitors from 112 countries.
This is the first Games I’ve been Head of Medical Services having now been Chief Physio for several events. Many of the skills that I have learned from working at SPACE with brilliant staff like Fiona & Kenny, plus a willingness to adapt to circumstances in Touch competitions with Scottish Touch have set me up to succeed as a leader. In practice, I love guided discovery with our patients as a method of embedding movements, and we try to use similar problem solving methods to select a support staff for major Games. The process of selection of a medical team can take around a year with the willingness to be flexible and ability to turn your eye to many different types of sport crucial: for example managing athletes from Diving to Shooting to Track Athletics or Water Polo in the course of a single day is a critical feature of these medical staff. This elasticity in thinking can be used in clinic too helping patients to from a spectrum or sport or circumstance.
Sportspeople are just human beings who are currently good enough in a given sport to be selected for a competition: many of the skills and techniques learned in SPACE have helped shape my philosophy for working as physio in these events, and how I try to have physios and Docs manage their workloads and themselves for the duration(personal welfare and wellbeing is so important). This includes a detailed plan for goals set for the Games as the staff are volunteers-why would these professionals offer their services for free?
I believe you can be enriched by these Games experiences, building your portfolio of incident reflections that all enhance your CV-basically you can be much more employable if you demonstrate you have pushed outside your comfort zone and tried to immerse yourself in multisport with all the challenges and needs that a Games entails.
Working in truly multidisciplinary team environments with non medical Headquarters Staff and local attaches challenges your communication and enhances your reasoning skills. The opportunity to discuss tricky injury episodes, or share successful outcomes with athletes is truly beneficial and uplifting. These aims are very much a part of SPACE philosophy, and so our patients benefit from this rounded approach to care.
Finally the global opportunities for meeting and sharing knowledge and experiences just cannot be bought-how unique is it to participate in a session on concussion one day, headaches the next and then explore return to sport with health practitioners and coaches from countries across the world in a variety of sports?
Where else would North Korea meet USA USA USA but on the judo mat…?