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Faces Of Bodyneed - Meet Catherine Royce

Written by Bodyneed Sports Clinic on December 22nd, 2016.      0 comments

Catherine Royce
Q&A with Catherine:

You have just returned back from FIFA U20’s Women’s World Cup – tell us, what is it like to be a sports physio at a World Cup?

Being a physiotherapist at a World Cup can be very exciting but also very challenging. The last World Cup being held in Papa New Guinea came with its own set of challenges. Not being able to leave the hotel without a police entourage, personal security and a male chaperone was mentally tiresome and meant that time spent outside of the hotel apart from the football pitch was very limited. 

It’s hard work at a World Cup! Days are very busy treating the girls who are injured, attending staff meetings, liaising with staff regarding injured players, running yoga sessions, pool and gym recovery sessions and generally helping other staff out where needed. On a typical day I get up at 5.30am, hit the gym or go for a run before the day starts as that is the only personal downtime for the day. Strappings for the morning training session start at 7.30am and we head off to training at 9am. Training can last for 2 hours, then recovery ice baths for the girls and lunch back at the hotel. After lunch, treatments and pre-training strapping take place again before we head off to afternoon training. Team meetings happen at the end of the day, and then the girls are free to recover, gossip, sing and make music videos. I finish the last treatments before our staff meeting. Bedtime is usually anywhere between 11pm to midnight. 
Ports U20 plays Mexico Nov 2016 2-476
Being a physio at a World Cup comes with its pressures, for example if a key player is injured it’s my job to get them back on the pitch. I have to do all it takes to get them back for trainings, but more importantly the games. We also have a team doctor as part of the medical team, and working together and bouncing ideas helps. For example, while we were recently in PNG our key goal keeper was put in a moonboot as she had suffered a large ankle injury prior to leaving for the World Cup. This player was in a moonboot for the entire time we were away and only came out of her boot for trainings and games. She managed to play every minute of every game - shall we say the coach was pretty pleased!

 
You have been with the U20’s team for a few years now and been to a few World Cups – tell us about your WC experience?

This has been my fourth U20 World Cup and honestly every one has been a different experience. It’s always a new set of girls and a new place to explore. A World Cup is such an honour to be a part of. It’s always very exciting and I was very fortunate to be involved in the first female U20 team to make the quarter finals in 2014 in Canada. This has to be one of my highlights. 

 
 And what’s it like to treat top performing athletes?

Treating top athletes is great! Most of the U20 girls are very well grounded. Their motivation to return to play following injury is huge. Often, I have to hold them back as these girls most of all just love to play! They will do anything to get themselves back on the pitch, which makes treating them and rehab a dream. They share a love for the game that is like no other. 
Ports U20 plays Mexico Nov 2016-442

 Any specific learnings from these top events that are helpful when treating clients at bodyneed?

At every world cup, I pick up some great tips from the top sports doctors I meet that I then use on my bodyneed clients. A tip I picked up last year from the Women’s World Cup in Canada was for tendon injuries (Achilles/Patella) - I always recommended for patients to ice massage these irritated tendons - but if you also rub some Voltaren Emugel in with the block of ice it is far more effective. So give it a go!

  
Travel tips for anyone thinking about going to Papua New Guinea..? ;)

Don't travel there by yourself! Make sure you think about your safety - having a male with you is worthwhile.
Take the appropriate mosquito spray (20% DEET or higher), bring hand sanitizer and consider having malaria pills while you are there. Don't drink the local water or eat anything washed by the local water, peel fruit before you eat it. Only travel there if you REALLY NEED to!

  
We know you as a very happy, fun and chatty person – but what is something that your clients don’t know about you?

I am not a big fan of birds! If a bird flies close I will duck, dive for cover, sprint as fast as I can to get away. 

 
 

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