Marathon physios to shine on Sunday

Several hundred CSP members will be taking part in the London Marathon this weekend in a wide breadth of activities.

University of Hertfordshire physiotherapy students at the 2019 London Marathon
University of Hertfordshire physiotherapy students doing some preparation before the runners at the 2019 London Marathon arrive

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic the sporting 26.2 mile spectacular returns to the streets of London on October 2.

200 volunteer physios and students will be providing physiotherapy services for medical teams along the route from Greenwich and at the finish at The Mall.

In addition, a team of 33 physiotherapy students from the University of Hertfordshire will be providing massage for runners who are raising funds for the MS Society.

And other CSP members will be among the ranks of the 50,000 runners who include elite men and women competitors. This year's event is one of the largest in the world.

Finish team physiotherapy head Rory Brown explained there were due to be 70 physios at the finish along with 65 physios and 65 physio students on the course, from mile 14. They would all be working in multidisciplinary teams with St John Ambulance and race doctors.

'We also have podiatrists in the teams at the finish so there's lots of chance to share knowledge and skills.'

Debra Silver and Abbi Taylor lead on the course physiotherapy team.

2023 event returns to its normal time 

There is a short turnaround for volunteers as next year the marathon returns to its traditional time of the year with race day being Sunday 23 April.

'Anyone interested should start looking out in early 2023 for a call for volunteers,' said Mr Brown.

‘Volunteering at the London Marathon is a great and fun way to develop or use your skills, support the thousands of runners on the day and be part of a strong multidisciplinary team. 

‘Working alongside colleagues with a range of skills and knowledge you will play a vital role in the success of the event.’

Dave Lowen
Physiotherapist Dave Lowen is running to raise awareness for Diabetes UK

Dave Lowen, a community physiotherapist in an intermediary care team in Bournemouth, will be taking part as an athlete to raise awareness for Diabetes UK.

'This cause means a lot to myself and my family as my brother died due to the disease at the young age of three and a half, and my father also died of diabetic complications.'

Mr Lowen is also well aware of how diabetes is a major global cause of disability.

He has previously lived and worked on disability inclusion in developing countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Territories and others.

'That role has been a mix of physio trainer, rehabilitation co-ordinator, project developer and evaluator.'

To add to the challenge of the marathon Mr Lowen will be broadcasting a live radio show in conjunction with the community station Forest FM which will be available to listen to on the internet 

The show will be a mixture of live chat, as he runs the race, interspersed with a variety of music as well as live and recorded interviews with some of the other Diabetes UK team members, many of who have diabetes themselves. They will be talking about their personal stories and include how they cope with exercising whilst having diabetes. Mr Lowen said:

It will be an entertaining show.

Students provide key role for charity

London Marathon students
A University of Hertfordshire physiotherapy student doing some preparation before the runners at the 2019 London Marathon arrive

Physiotherapy students (levels five and six) from the University of Hertfordshire will be providing massage for athletes who are running for the MS Society.

The students will be on hand at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in Birdcage Walk as runners arrive there for their post-race party.

'Tired and aching limbs will be treated to some gentle care and attention before the runners join their families for well-earned refreshments and celebration,' said practice team lead and senior lecturer Sue Roscoe. 

This extra-curricular activity is the 13th year the university physio students have been involved with the MS Society at the London Marathon. 

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