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18 July 2011
Physiotherapy students from Cardiff University’s School of Healthcare Studies have supported a major new multi-sport event for young people.Gemau Cymru (8-10 July) brought together athletes from nine different competitive elements to celebrate and showcase the future of Wales’ sporting talent inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In total nine sports events held at seven different venues across Cardiff made up the games including: Athletics, Boccia, Canoeing, Gymnastics, Swimming, Girls Football & Multi Disability Football Teams, Netball, Rugby 7s and Triathlon.
The Cardiff physiotherapy team included 70 student volunteers and some of the most experienced staff from the School of Healthcare Studies who have, in the past, worked with athletes in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. The School’s physiotherapy programme has, like Gemau Cymru, been awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark. Dr Nicola Phillips, Director Postgraduate Healthcare Studies at Cardiff University said: "We are delighted that our students and staff are able to volunteer their time to offer their services at Gemau Cymru. It is great that our students can have practical experience of working at a multi-sport event, they are the healthcare professionals of the future who will take this experience into their NHS work and help promote the valuable benefits of sport."In addition to supporting the qualified staff, athletes, and coaches at each event, Cardiff students also pitched in wherever needed, including two students who were asked to dress up as mascots for the opening ceremonies. Efa Gruffudd Jones, Urdd Gobaith Cymru Chief Executive said, "We are very grateful for the support of the Cardiff University staff and students over the Gemau Cymru weekend. With over 1,000 competitors in seven different venues it was vital that the best medical support was available. Thanks to the Cardiff University staff and students the young athletes benefited from physiotherapy support equal to that provided for the Welsh Commonwealth Games Team."
Gemau Cymru is set to run for the next two years and the School of Healthcare Studies will be supporting future events. A BBC One programme in September about the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games outside of London, will feature a lead-in on the School of Healthcare Studies Inspire programme and the benefits and opportunities it brings to Welsh Sport.
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