SPACE Physios at World University Games 2017 TaipeiNews
The biennial World University Games (Summer Universiade) drew to a close in Taipei on the 31st of August as Great Britain’s delegation of 163 athletes and staff took a breath and reflected on what was a magical games experience.
For many, it was the first time they had experienced a large-scale multi-sport event environment, with the World University Games being the second largest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympics. It wasn’t however the first games experience for two of SPACE Clinics physios, Clinical Director Stephen Mutch and Kenny Watt. This was to be their 3rd and 4th games respectively and Stephens second as the Lead Physiotherapist and Kennys first as the Deputy Lead Physio. It was a superb honour for two of our staff to be selected to be the clinical lead team and to take the SPACE ethos across the world and support the Team GBR athletes in their endeavours. Team GBR were represented in Archery, Athletics, Women’s Football, Golf, Rhythmic Gymnastics, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Weightlifting, and Men’s and Women’s Water polo
As many Olympians represented their nations, several world records were rewritten across the 12 days of sporting action. Team GBR’s final medal tally totals three silver and six bronze across four different sports, seeing us finish an overall 45th on the medal table. Great Britain also finished agonisingly close in several finals, with seven fourth place finishes.
The medical team supporting the athletes consisted of 10 physios and 4 doctors. The team was drawn from all over the UK and it fell to Stephen and Kenny to build a strong team bond forged on common goals and strengths which could help fulfil the staffs, and athletes needs and expectations. Alongside their extensive leadership roles both had responsibilities for specific teams and athletes who were competing at the games as well as spending a substantial number of hours in the medical headquarters treating athletes from all of the sports within Team GBR. Stephen took the lead with Rhythmic Gymnastics and Kenny with Taekwondo (a team containing double Olympic medallist Lutalo Muhammad). These games allow the physiotherapists to become very well versed in treating athletes from a number of sports and develops the skills needed to analyse an athletes demands both physiologically and psychologically.
The collective Games experience puts athletes in good stead for their future sporting endeavours, as they aspire to make teams for the Commonwealth Games 2018, World University Games 2019 and as they target #Tokyo2020. For Kenny and Stephen this also serves as a spring board into the Team Scotland Commonwealth Games 2018 preparation where Stephen will once again lead from the front as the Chief Physiotherapist.
Both Stephen and Kenny are now back in the clinic and would be more than happy to regale you with stories of their travels as they apply the skills they have developed in your sport. SPACE prides itself on giving our staff the opportunity the travel and work at these games but it is their own unique blend of skills which gets them these highly competitive and prestigious roles in the first place. Come and benefit from these skills at the clinic….