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Rory Hannan

My route into working in professional sport

Posted by Rory Hannan on Tue, 14 Oct 2014

As a second year physiotherapy student at the time of enrolling on ProActive Training’s Sports Massage course, I did so as I felt it may be something that may help me along in a very competitive job market into what I hoped to be a career in sports musculoskeletal physiotherapy; an extra ‘string to my bow’. And now, 3 years on, I can safely say it has been the most useful aspect of CPD I have ever done.

 

As soon as I became qualified, I felt I had a new skill to flaunt. I didn’t waste any time in contacting dozens of local sports clubs offering voluntary work in exchange for a little bit of experience that may enhance my growing CV. After receiving lots of rejections, I eventually managed to get in touch with a therapist through a friend who was playing with Aston Villa ladies football club at the time. Chasing this contact as best I could, I was offered a trial period working with the centre of excellence and ladies first team. I volunteered 2 evenings a week and weekends during my second year before I was offered a part-time position with the club. Working in a variety of settings on various competitive footballers from children to adult enhanced my experience greatly, including pre and post event, maintenance and specific rehabilitation soft tissue work utilising a variety of different techniques on training and match days. Working alongside a Sports Therapist, my qualification as a sports massage therapist meant I had a degree of independence that I wouldn’t have done as a mere Physio student, not to mention having to encounter insurance difficulties. Having the knowledge from the course and now the experience, I soon developed my manual skills that truly engrained them as a strong basis of my current treatment repertoire. I was able to start a mobile sports massage business where I advertised by working at marathons and various sporting events, enjoying a number of my own clients in my local area.

 

My role with Aston Villa went on to a successful and very enjoyable 3 seasons with the setup, from which I soon attained a role with the clubs academy set up where I now work part-time, using the same knowledge and skills treating young elite footballers both off and on the pitch, but with much better facilities! My manual skills and soft tissue massage are currently an invaluable and daily adjunct to treatment in both NHS and private settings as well as in professional ice hockey for the Coventry Blaze where I assist on match days.

 

Had I not attended the Proactive Training Sports Massage course, I wouldn’t have the confidence in using this to the extent I currently do. Attending ProActive Training’s course was a major stepping stone in my transition from student to experienced clinician. I simply would not be enjoying the roles I currently do had I not attended and I would not hesitate in recommending the course to anyone and everyone who is in the position I was.

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