University of Worcester Students Take on Placement with Top Spanish Basketball Club

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Students from the University of Worcester got an insight into sports therapy at elite level with a placement at a top basketball club in Spain.

Sports Therapy students Charlotte Byde, Rebecca Gwilliam and Katie Cousins spent time working with the players, under supervision, behind the scenes at Valencia Basket Club, which plays in the Liga ACB and Euroleague.

This was possible thanks to the partnership agreement between the University of Worcester, which owns the Worcester Wolves basketball side, and the current Spanish champions

In the previous academic year, Pablo Martínez, Head Physiotherapist at Valencia Basket, gave an inspiring talk to students on the Sports Therapy course about his role and the Club, which motivated the third year students to want to visit.

Their experience on placement ranged from rehabilitation classes to training preparation, as well as a day in clinic, a game day and a tour of the facilities.

They learned about some of the Valencia physiotherapy team’s techniques for taping and mobilisations, and ultrasound, which were often different to what they had seen before, as well as learning about new treatments.

Charlotte, 23, of Ipswich, Suffolk, said: “The training preparation sessions allowed us to learn their techniques of taping and mobilisations. It was amazing to see how differently things were done at Valencia Basket, for example, taping at the ankle utilised tape we’d not seen before, applied in such an organised path that it was hard to recreate at first! The therapists were very patient with us, explaining everything fully to ensure we understood each point and allowed us to practice on each other and film their techniques.”

“The game day was incredible,” added Charlotte. “With courtside seats we were able to watch the players we had helped treat in action. I wish to continue studying abroad in the future and would recommend it to everybody wanting to build upon their knowledge and broaden their experience within the sports therapy field.”

Rebecca, 21, of Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire, said: “If ever any of us had this opportunity again we would take any chance I had to go back out there, spend some more time with the medical team and learn a lot more about the treatment techniques, styles and rehabilitation exercises.”

Katie, 21, of Farnham, Surrey, added: “It provided a new and different insight into the world of sports therapy.”

This is the first time that Sports Therapy students have had such an opportunity with Valencia Basket, but it is hoped this will be the first of many such visits.

Dr Darren Cooper, Course Leader for Sports Therapy, said: “It's great that through this partnership we are able to offer our students the chance to do such unique work experience abroad at such a high profile club. Our students had a rare opportunity to see how professional teams operate behind the scenes and it is this kind of real-life experience that will help prepare them to enter the sports therapy industry and also give them greater insight if they wish to pursue a career in elite sport.”