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Friday 19 May 2017

Solent students offer a helping hand to tired marathoners

Thirteen second- and third-year students from across the range of Solent’s sports courses were on hand at the recent ABP Southampton Marathon, offering a staggering 250 sports massages to tired runners over the course of the day.

Working for Nuffield Health as part of their in-course work experience, the students worked with professionals from Nuffield to warm up athletes before the run and soothe their tired muscles and tendons after they crossed the finish line.

Second-year student Josh Figg said, “The Nuffield staff and the third-year students were all incredibly supportive when we found ourselves a little unsure of the issue presented from the client, demonstrating manual therapy skills but further sharing the understanding behind the technique.

“For me personally this experience was incredibly useful – practice within class is beneficial, but it doesn’t provide real world experiences of treating clients with actual muscular issues, working to get to the source of said issue.”

Zoe Carroll, another student, said, “The atmosphere was great – it was hard work but it was a really good experience. All the athletes were super nice, and so appreciative of the massage!”

Josh Figg talked us through the day. “About 8am and the first runners started to come to the tent. Pre-sports massage was administered to warm up, loosen muscle that were tense, freeing up the range of movement achievable from the muscles/joints, predominately around the hip and ankle. We treated all sorts of client: men, women, young, mature, runners with specific injuries and niggles, or runners that just wanted massage to relax.

“On multiple occasions throughout the morning I looked out the main entrance to the tent seeing a sea of people wanting a free massage – and the afternoon was even more packed, with tonnes and tonnes of people queuing to be seen.”

Joanna Szczesnowicz was another of the students taking part. She said, “Nuffield Health is a major employer in the sector and I welcomed the chance to work for such a prestigious company and to find out more about the organisation. It was a great opportunity to expand on my theoretical knowledge of various muscular injuries that I had not previously come across, and it also allowed me to practise using a range of massage and stretching techniques.”

Annya Sait, events coordinator for Nuffield Health, said, "the students were wonderful – they worked so hard from very early morning right through until the afternoon. They were so keen and committed and also upbeat and polite to everyone.

“With their help, we were able to offer over 250 sports massages to the runners, in comparison to around 70 last year – an incredible achievement.”