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Life of a Sports Physio: Team England Commonwealth Games 


Sports Physiotherapist for Team England at the Commonwealth Games

Over the past 8 years I have had the pleasure to work in a variety of sports with athletes striving hard for success at many different stages of their journey.  In March this year I will travel to the Gold Coast with Team England for the XXI 2018 Commonwealth Games. 


Focus on Patient Goals

My role working in a private clinic and elite level sport, compliment each other in ways which allow me to be realistic, empathetic, functional and practical in my practice.  Every client, patient and athlete I see presents in very similar ways, has their own goals and targets, own aim to be better or improve, with sometimes only the environment and circumstances differing. 

This is an ethos that I employ strongly in my clinical practice and have found that my experiences with elite athletes and people who wish to be better or feel better in anyway, allows me to provide an effective and individual approach to physiotherapy and rehabilitation. 


My role as Physio at the Commonwealth Games

Over the coming weeks, as I work towards and during the Commonwealth Games, I will be writing blogs and posts to show an insight into my life as a ‘Sports Physio’.  This will involve a behind the scenes insight, life in an athlete village, psychological aspects of my role,  challenges faced, my journey with the Athletics team and how this can closely match to everyday life for many people.


Preparation and Goals

Seven weeks today I will land in the Gold Coast as Physiotherapist for the Team England Athletics squad and part of 600 Team England athletes and staff looking forward to a successful games.  The athletics team itself is 95 athlete strong with a combined mix of able bodied and para athletes combined.  My role as part of the medical team, is to provide health care, physiotherapy treatment, recovery and acute trauma support to ensure high level performance in in the run up and during competition. 

The Athletics schedule takes place over 8 days towards the end of the games with our team taking part in a Brisbane holding camp, training build up and integration into the village, as they prepare to compete against huge commonwealth nations.  As interest in athletics is high and further funding potentially relying on medal success, our team can face pressure to achieve certain targets.  My aim is to work successfully with the medical team, athletes and coaches to help athletes achieve their own individual and team goals in a high performance and sometimes stressful environment. 


Next Time:  

  • A look into the preparations required before we fly out as a team – ‘Kitting Out Day’ 
  • How the medical team (Physio’s and Doctors) help to ensure athletes are fit to compete 
  • Injury prevention ideas used in elite athletes 

If you would like to get in touch with me for advice about injuries please email me at info@octopusclinic.com or, if you would like to book in please phone 02075838288. You can follow Octopus Clinic on Facebook or Twitter @octopusclinic. 



Jemma Oliver MCSP MSc

  • 10 years qualified Physiotherapist and 8 years working in elite sport 
  • Current duel role with England Athletics and Hockey Wales – both competing in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG) 
  • Experience in sports including athletics, hockey, basketball, dancing and cycling and work with 3 GB teams – British Bobsleigh, GB Volleyball, British Athletics 
  • The Gold Coast 2018 will be her second CWG following Glasgow 2014 with England Athletics 
  • Areas of specialist interest include running injuries, knee pain, shoulder pain and functional rehabilitation. 
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