Meet the sports therapist helping Ipswich Town players stay fit and firing
- Credit: ITFC
Alice Grindrod always wanted to work in football.
The sports therapist has been with the Blues for eight years, working her way through various roles in the academy before making the step up to the senior side last summer, as part of the club’s new performance team.
She specialises in soft tissue injuries, meaning she’s part of the medical department working to keep the Ipswich Town players fit and firing, both at the training ground and on match days.
“I really enjoy it,” she said. “We have a really good performance and medical team here and I look after the soft tissue side of things.
“I give pre and post training and match treatments, travel with the squad to away games with Matt Byard (head physio). Soft tissue injuries and maintenance is very important
“Taking this role was a no-brainer for me,” the Teesside University graduate continued.
“I always enjoyed sports when growing up and, when I was studying for my degree, I always had working in football as the main objective. I’ve been lucky that I’ve managed to get into football early on and have managed to stay here.
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“It’s a great place to be and everyone is very supportive and encouraging.”
The Ipswich Town first-team set-up is clearly a male-dominated world, both in terms of playing and backroom staff, as is the case at professional clubs up and down the country. But the 29-year-old feels at home.
“We have a lot of other female support staff in admin roles and some in analysis as well, those kind of things, as well as in the academy,” she said.
“There are a few women around the team but it’s obviously a really male-heavy environment. But I’ve never really noticed it being that way.
“All the females who work within the first-team are here on merit as the best person for the role, rather than anyone wanting to just slot someone in because they are a women.
“It’s different to other working environments, or even if I was working in a different sport, but I really enjoy it and it’s always been a positive experience.
“I don’t see any difference in the way players treat me to any other member of staff. This group of players are very respectful and have been nothing but positive since I’ve been working with them.
“There are so many more women in football now that players come from other clubs having always worked with female staff. Nobody bats an eyelid. They take you as you are as a therapist, rather than being a woman.
“My experience has always been positive and attitudes have been good. More and more females are coming into football environments and that’s really positive. I have friends at other football clubs and they say much the same.”
Town this week entered into a partnership with Her Game Too, a group set up last year by 12 passionate female football fans to help eliminate sexism and create a better environment for women and girls to enjoy the game.
“It’s great to see the club get involved because I know a lot of women who go to games and love football, so having a support system is great,” Town’s sports therapist said.
“If that can help more women feel comfortable going into the game as a career in the future, then brilliant.
“Even in my short career I’ve seen more and more women come into the sport and it’s definitely on the right path.”