Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Students Involved in the International Blind Sports Federation World Games

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By Caroline White

The University of Birmingham has hosted the International Blind Sports Federation World Games from the 18thth to the 27th of August.  Multiple sports have been played, from tennis, football, showdown, archery and goal ball, to name but a few.  

Twelve students from our physiotherapy programmes, pre-registration and post-graduate, have supported the medical team at HQ. They have worked closely with Alison Bloxham, lead therapist and her team alongside the chief medical officers, Dr Natalie Cheyne and Dr Dave Nichols. It has provided the students with varied learning experiences of decision-making at a major competition and the complexity this can bring. But also developing their communication skills; with all the athletes having their eyesight affected to varied levels, verbal skills have become even more important. But with the added complication of athletes worldwide, they may be unable to speak English. Google Translate has played a supporting role!  

There has also been a chance to understand further other medical professions and how to work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Students from other universities studying sports therapy and chiropractic degrees also working as part of the team. In quieter moments, they have had a chance to compare their different approaches to various skills they have learnt and management techniques.  

This is just one of the many elite sporting events the University of Birmingham has hosted in recent years, and we have been fortunate to have our students involved in. With more forthcoming events on the horizon, we are proud of the relationship and reputation we are building within the sports industry and how our students can contribute.

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