From participating in various sports throughout my life, namely; Rugby, American Football, Boxing, Grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which can all be classified as (very much so) contact sports; I was no stranger to injuries; on myself, on my teammates and sometimes on the opposition too. I gained an interest in how to recover fast and how to reduce the reoccurrence of injuries. I spent a lot of time (and money) getting sports massages, which was totally worth it, I could see the benefits it was having on my body, mind and performance.
That’s me – back row fifth from left 17/18 season with LCRFC
At the age of 26 I was in the shape of my life, after a great season with Limavady Rugby Club and taking part in a boxing tournament I was enjoying the summer off-season playing American football with the Derry Donegal Vipers until, a freak injury, a complete rupture of my lateral ankle ligaments, this gave me some time to reflect and I came to the decision I wanted pursue a career in Physiotherapy.
However, I had not the required A-levels to jump straight into an undergraduate degree in Physiotherapy. I instead choose a more vocational route and enrolled in Sports Massage at the North West Regional College. During these 3 years of studying up to VTCT Level 4 Sports and Injury Massage I was entrusted by my team mates and sporting friends to tend to their injuries and provide on-site massage at trainings, game days and sporting events (such as the incredibly tough 4 marathons in 4 days – Extreme North event and 5k muddy obstacle course – Hard as Oak). My passion paid off as I completed the course with 2 accolades; the VTCT Award of Excellence in Sports Massage and the Derry City FC: Contribution to Sports Medicine in City – 2018.
Since qualifying I have established myself in my own clinic based in the popular gym TK Fitness Derry/Londonderry, frequently work with professional footballers from Derry City FC and Coleraine FC and I have gained employment with my local rugby club as their sports massage therapist and pitch-side first aider. I am currently in my 2nd year studying BSc Physiotherapy at Ulster University and I strive to educate myself and keep up to date with all the latest evidence to provide the best possible treatment to my clients.