Nino Severino: Medicine men will help Suffolk’s top athletes
- Credit: Archant
In his latest column, Nino Severino shares news of two new additions to the sporting hub based at the University of Suffolk, which will mean more support for the region’s top athletes.
Last week was a very positive week for many reasons, but one meeting brought us closer to delivering a sporting support hub in Ipswich which, in my opinion, has the potential to be second to none.
I know it’s critical for all our top athletes to have access to medical care of the highest quality, and I’m very pleased to write that they will be receiving this opportunity because of a relationship that I’ve had for over 20 years with two medical professionals.
I have personally witnessed how important the medical team is to athletes performing at the highest level. My years on the WTA World Tennis Tour, gave me countless experiences of this – Elena and I often travelled with a team that would include medical support, in our case that was Alasdair Jones.
I can say, without reservation that Alasdair was a massive part of our success and, with his skills in physiotherapy and outstanding knowledge of injury strapping, he kept Elena competing in many tournaments.
I have also witnessed the medical team at Ipswich Town Football Club earning their money – in particular I have worked very closely with Matt Byard, the Town physio, who has helped both reduce injuries and improve recovery times.
But unfortunately many of our international and world-class performers do not experience the same level of expert support as athletes in money rich sports such as tennis and football.
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As part of the University of Suffolk team, with the sporting and business community of associates, professionals, sponsors, benefactors and friends, I am passionate and committed to re-balancing this area of local athlete support.
I believe that all our athletes should be supported by a top-class medical team, and this is exactly what we are very close to achieving at The Hub, with the commitment of two outstanding local medical professionals, Dave Williams and Dr David Hodgkinson.
Together we have been discussing how, as a trio of professionals in sport, we could close the gap between sports that have money, and those that do not.
I am now very pleased to announce that both of them will be joining the portfolio of professionals that will make this happen from the Hub on the Marina.
To compete at the highest level our young athletes need to avoid injury and stay healthy, and this is where their lives cross with Dave and Dr David at Sports Med East.
Three times a year my junior athletes will visit the state-of-the-art medical complex that these two men run, and will benefit from a detailed Musculo Skeletal Screening.
After the screening the team will provide me with a full and detailed report of findings, which my strength and conditioning experts and other team professionals will use to correct or avoid injury and poor health in the future.
I often say to parents of these athletes how it always surprises me that they will have their cars MOT’s and serviced every year, but will not do the same with their precious children – this is a culture we are trying to change, not only for junior athletes, but for the whole community.
Our new additions will bring world-class skills to the table - Dave trained at Kings College Hospital, London, which led him to join the physio team at Spurs in the early 90’s, opening up an opportunity to head up the physio team at Ipswich Town from 1995.
Dr David, who trained at Nottingham University Medical School, is one of those very talented low-profile professionals that operates in our health care community on a daily basis.
After working internationally, including time at The Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, Australia he took a consultant post at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust (IHT) which started in 1996.
In the time I have known him, he has always been pushing the boundaries of his experiences and expertise. His experience and skills did not go unnoticed by the professional footballing fraternity – in 2012 he was recruited by Ipswich Town as doctor and medical advisor, and in 2018 the National Football Association recruited him as advanced resuscitation and trauma care instructor.
For me, as Director of The Hub, being able to include these two in our Centre of Excellence Team, fills me with confidence and excitement that our elite local athletes will finally benefit from the support all three of us have dreamed of for many years.