Sports massage

Massage Therapy for RunThrough Tatton 10k Runners

Dedicated Sports Massage Students from Cheshire College – South & West’s Crewe Campus braced the fog in Knutsford in r support of the 600 runners taking part in the RunThrough Tatton Park 10k run.

An outstanding 57 treatments took place during the event with students treating participants as early as 7am for a pre-run warm up. As the first runners began to cross the finish line, post-race massages were in high demand. Legwork was the favoured request of the day, involving deep tissue massage to aid recovery and fatigue.

Fiona Notman, Lecturer in Complementary and Sports Massage Therapy at Cheshire College – South & West commented: “The students worked really hard during the event, performing over 10 massages each and aiding the runner’s recovery. It’s been invaluable experience for them and has enabled them to provide evidence towards the completion of their qualification. It’s also given them confidence in their practical abilities within a realistic sporting environment.”

The five students in attendance on the day are currently studying VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy and are hoping to subsequently progress to level 4 following completion. “It was a busy morning attending to the athletes but equally a really enjoyable day. It’s been a great experience for us and was lovely to meet so many grateful runners, many of whom had raised lots of money for charity, so a truly worthy event.” said Sports Massage Therapy student Christopher Johnson, aged 31, from Winsford.

Fiona went on to say: “I’m really proud of how the students conducted themselves at the event and their performance. We’re honoured to have been invited back again and will be working alongside the organisers in other events throughout the year, including monthly events at RunThrough Tatton Park and the Cheshire 10K at Arley Hall, so there are plenty of opportunities for the students to get some great hands on experience.”

Runners praised the students following their treatments with some queuing for more than half an hour to gain a treatment, having experienced their exemplary skills pre-event. One runner said, “Wow, I can’t believe how much better I feel” and subsequently asked the College students back to assist with the Knutsford 24-hour Tennisathon in June.

Rob Jowett, RunThrough Tatton Park 10k Event Organiser commented: “The students did a fantastic job on the day. They were really enthusiastic and worked tremendously hard throughout the event. It was non-stop, I didn’t even get a look in, it was so busy. They were a true credit to the College.

“Thank you to Cheshire College – South & West and to Fiona for organising their attendance and for promising to return next time, as well as support us at other events throughout the year. We look forward to seeing you then.”

For more information on studying Sports Massage Therapy at Cheshire College – South & West, or for details on how to enrol on the Level 3 and Level 4 courses available in September, visit or call the College hotline on 01270 654654.

World Class Teaching at West Cheshire College

Sports Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer and Tutor at West Cheshire College, Simon O’Brien, returned to his students this month following a summer supporting athletes at the IAAF World Championships in London.

Simon is no stranger to the competitive circuit having also worked with professional and world-class athletes at the 2012 London Olympic Games and for West Cheshire Colleges’ students his experiences are hugely beneficial, learning about real-life situations and gaining world-class teaching.

As part of the Botswana Training Team, Simon began his World Championship journey in Cardiff, where he worked with athletes in preparation for the two-week competition.

Simon explained: “Just over six years ago I spent a day volunteering my services to every country in the world through the Independent Olympic Committee (IOC). I was then contacted prior to the 2012 Games asking whether I would like to work with the Botswana Team, and of course I said yes.

“Since then, the team has asked that I continue to work with them, which is how my involvement came about this year at the World Championships, and it looks promising for a Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (XXI) appearance in April next year too.

“This year has been possibly the most incredible summer I have experienced and what I couldn’t have prepared for was the media frenzy when the Botswanan 400-metre runner, Isaac Makwala, was barred.”

Isaac Makwala, 30, was set to run in the 400m final but was refused entry into the stadium and barred from competing in order to control a “very virulent” norovirus outbreak. The Athletics’ governing body defended its decision to deny the World Championship medal favourite entry, however there was much speculation surrounding the event.

Simon added: “I certainly didn’t expect to be on the BBC couch alongside Gabby Logan, Denise Lewis, Michael Johnson and Paula Radcliffe – what an experience.

“I essentially became the spokesperson for the Botswana Team, which included an interview with Gaby Logan on the BBC, swiftly followed by a meeting with the Team Manager, President of the Botswana Association and Lord Sebastian Coe to discuss the situation and to ensure a positive outcome for all. It was a crazy week and quite a surreal experience!

“At the end of the meeting, I asked whether we could appeal for Isaac to compete in the 200m, as there was a similar case in 2016, which could be used as a precedent. For Isaac it was certainly the most dramatic 48 hours in his career, however my idea was accepted, we did appeal and he was reinstated into the 200m.”

Isaac subsequently ran a solo time trial, qualifying for the semi-finals, and then, just two hours later, qualified for the final after running even quicker. His popularity since the Championships has risen enormously, along with the entire Botswana Team.

Simon went on to say: “For me, not only was this year’s Championships an unbelievable experience and learning curve, but I was in the presence of my sporting heroes. It was incredible to meet them, let alone be one of five in a high-pressured meeting with Lord Sebastian Coe. It was a true honour. They were all great sports and it was a real pleasure to meet them.”