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16 December 2013
A new physiotherapy clinic to support sport at all levels across Wales and educate sports physiotherapists of the future has opened at the University.
The School of Healthcare Sciences’ Inspire Performance Clinic will bring together some of Wales’ leading physiotherapists with state-of-the-art technology to provide a centre of excellence for sports physiotherapy in Wales, reflecting the University’s number one position for physiotherapy education in the UK.
Located within the University’s Talybont Sports Village, the clinic will address a growing demand for physiotherapy provision, and develop the ongoing engagement activity to support individuals of all abilities to participate in sport and exercise.
It will also provide valuable clinical experience for students to enable them to help prevent and treat sports injuries using the most up-to-date patient education and performance measurement technology.
Professor Sheila Hunt, Head of the School of Healthcare Sciences, said: "This latest development will significantly enhance the undergraduate and postgraduate experience. It will provide valuable supervised clinical experience in the sport and exercise sector for student physiotherapists studying at Cardiff.
"Combining this with the innovative research and teaching approach at the University, we will be able to transfer the latest developments in sports medicine to our patients, particularly in the primary care sector, where emphasis is being placed on proactive care in the community."
The Clinic will also support University sport by introducing novel technology, providing an opportunity to transfer research developments into clinical practice and create a genuine impact.
The Vector sports performance technology developed in-house by staff at the School of Healthcare Sciences will provide physiotherapists with more accurate measurement of the performance of an athlete post-injury in order for them to return to full participation in training and competition.
Using a series of wireless mats, the new performance technology uses software algorithms to determine contact and flight time; cognitive response time; decision accuracy; task time and speed. It is a flexible, objective tool providing hard data to help measure the impact of clinical and sports-specific interventions.
Physiotherapist Dr Nicola Phillips, a Reader at the School of Healthcare Sciences, said: "To date, deciding whether an athlete is ready to return to play following injury can be subjective, which can cost an athlete personally, physically or financially. This new technology will provide physiotherapists with far more definite, evidence-based decision making."
Physiotherapy staff and students at the University have been supporting sport and exercise events such as the Pre-Olympic and Paralympic Training Camps, Gemau Cymru and Wales Touch Tournaments for a number of years. They were awarded a London 2012 Inspire Award for their engagement activities to support athletes of all abilities and the continued work in this area is a tangible legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Former international Wales Rugby Union player, Welsh Varsity Chairman and Board Member of SportsWales Paul Thorburn, who opened the Inspire Performance Clinic, said: "I was delighted to represent SportsWales at the opening of the new clinic. It is important in terms of supporting elite sport and ensuring we have the right quality of physiotherapy staff coming through, but also helps the local community by ensuring they are getting back to a healthy lifestyle and fitness as soon as they can."
To learn more about the clinic and book an appointment, visit www.cardiff.ac.uk/inspireperformance
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