Paralympics physio looks to London and beyond

The physiotherapist who will work with the GB rowing team at the London Paralympic Games was in Beijing four years ago, working with the Team GB able-bodied swimming squad.

But Pat Dunleavy said there has been no difference in the preparation for the Paralympics and the able-bodied Games.

‘These are elite athletes, and there is absolutely no difference at all,’ he said. ‘If there’s an athlete in a wheelchair I don’t see the wheelchair, just the athlete.

‘If we treated the athletes any differently, they’d soon let us know,’ he added.

The only difference for competitors at the upcoming Paralympic Games is that paralympic rowing teams normally compete at the same championships as able-bodied teams, so behind-the-scenes it will be much quieter than usual.

The Paralympics begin on August 29.

Mr Dunleavy’s squad are currently still training in the UK, but they will travel to a special pre-Games camp in Spain this month.

And, although the London Games are less than a month away, Mr Dunleavy and his colleagues are already looking towards Rio De Janeiro in 2016.

He said the coaching and physio team will be reviewing their protocols before the next Paralympics to see where improvements can be made, but one of the most important tasks will be to look for fresh rowing talent.

Any physios who think their patients may be suitable candidates for the GB Paralympic rowing team should contact GB Rowing’s talent identification coach Helen Blamey, at helen.blamey@gbrowingteam.org.uk

Author
Graham Clews

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