A passage to India

The physio heading up the team for the Commonwealth Games explains the hopes and challenges to Matthew Limb

Lynda Daley heads out to Delhi this month to organise physiotherapy for the England team at the Commonwealth Games, starting in October. It is her third major games as chief physio and her enthusiasm has not dimmed. ‘Attending a big multi-sport event is a fantastic experience,’ she says. The role is a voluntary one, supported by her employers at the English Institute of Sport. She is responsible for strategic planning and leading the substantial physio team, which comprises seven so-called HQ-based physios and 19 sport-specific physios who look after various athletes. In addition, she will herself be ‘hands-on’, working with England’s male and female weightlifters. So, what goes into the preparation? ‘It takes a phenomenal amount of time and organisational skills,’ she says, ‘particularly so for the Games in India where we have to take everything with us. It’s a huge logistical operation.’ Much equipment has already been dispatched by freight. ‘We’ve sent out 15 physio beds, ice baths, electrotherapy equipment, support plinths and disposables like taping and splints’. A key challenge will be the climate, with temperatures expected to be in the low 30s. She says athletes always hope to arrive in top physical condition but they’ll often be recovering from an injury. ‘People will always sustain injuries while they are out there training. We do a lot of preventive and routine maintenance work to help them in their recovery.’

Good performance

Lynda, pictured fourth from the left with the Melbourne team, joined EIS in 2003. Before that she spent 20 years in private practice and worked with national sports governing bodies including for hockey and weightlifting. She has been at several Olympic Games, working with paralympic teams at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008. Appointed chief physio at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, she then covered the Melbourne games four years later. While Australia is expected to win most medals in Delhi, a good performance from England would see them pip India to second place, she says. ‘We expect them to give us a tough race.‘ Lynda is also helping with preparation for physio at the London Olympics in 2012. How does she find the time? ‘I don’t watch a lot of telly and have got a long-suffering husband,’ she says. fl We’ve sent out 15 physio beds, ice baths, electrotherapy equipment, support plinths and disposables like taping and splints’  Lynda Daley 

Matthew Limb

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