Kevin Matthews - Official 2012 Olympic Physiotherapist
In 1996/7 when I first qualified as a sports physical-therapist I had two dreams; to be a physiotherapist for a professional football team and to be a physiotherapist in either the Olympic or Commonwealth games. My first dream was fulfilled in 2001 when I started to work for Plymouth Argyle F.C. I managed to spend seven years with them followed by a spell with Torquay United F.C. first team.
As for the second dream, well back in late 2010 I filled out an on-line application form to become a physiotherapist in the 2012 Olympics. This was quickly followed by e-mailing my C.V., passport, qualification diplomas and certificates, countless phone calls and finally 2 phone interviews through-out last year. Then in February this year I was sent an e-mail stating that I was very lucky and had been selected to be a physiotherapist in the 2012 Olympics! Yes!
Over 270,000 people applied for 70,000 Olympic Games Maker places in this year’s Olympics. Out of those 270,000 people, 18,000 applied for 1800 physiotherapist places. I had a 1 in 10 chance and was selected to be a physiotherapist in the Olympic village at Weymouth and Portland to treat the many sailors involved in the sailing and windsurfing events over the course of the Olympic games. The Olympic games start on the 27th July but my first physiotherapy shifts start on July 15th. I am to be on hand just in case any sailors require treatments during training days prior to the games officially starting on July 27th and will carry on until 16th August.
I’ve already been to London for role specific training day and just returned from being invited to work as a physiotherapist in the main Olympic stadium for one of the Olympic test events. I must say it’s a fantastic stadium situated in a truly remarkable setting of the Olympic park. The test event was for the Para-Olympians.
During my 10 hour shift I had an opportunity to watch about 45mins of events and saw 3 world records being broken, 2 in the Discus and 1 in one in the 100 metres final. I’m sure many more will be broken during the Olympic and Para-Olympic games too!. I’m due to go to Weymouth early in July to pick up my Games Maker uniform and to go through security and accreditation followed by venue training .
It is something that I am really looking forward to and hopefully by the end of August I will have fulfilled my Olympic dream and gained more physiotherapy/massage therapy experience working with other top-class health-care professionals to pass on to my clients here in Dartmouth and South Devon. Wish me luck!
First published July 2012 By the Dart