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Sports Physiotherapy Goes Xtreme

9 January 2015

Richard Parks: Race to Pole
Richard Parks at the Pole.

Tonight's exciting first episode of Xtreme Endurance: Race to the Pole will feature the School of Healthcare Sciences Sports Physiotherapy MSc lead, Dr Nicola Phillips, as she assists Richard Parks, former Wales rugby international and a Cardiff University Fellow, on his quest to take on the most arduous physical challenges on the planet.

The series follows a year of mental and physical preparation for Richard's solo Antarctica Speed Expedition and World Record attempt. Dr Philipps assisted Richard as he prepared for and recovered from the different challenges he did throughout the year as he worked towards his race to the South Pole.

Dr Phillps said, "The work of a physiotherapist travelling with an extreme athlete is broader than the typical role you may think a physiotherapist does. It includes operational and psychological support as well as the more traditional aspects of treating injuries or helping with things like muscle soreness."

Tonight's episode covers the 'Yak Attack' mountain bike race that takes place in the mighty Himalaya, comprises of 11 stages, covers 400km and a total altitude gain of over 12,000m. Richard experiences an incredible endurance challenge over some of the world's toughest terrain, from the hot and dusty lowland foothills to the snow covered, oxygen thin, Thorong La pass.

"I am really looking forward to seeing the four episodes as many of the scenes will be stunning, given the expertise of the filming team and the places that we visited. I hope it will also provide insight into the life of an exceptional athlete like Richard Parks, as well as the support required to help prepare an athlete for this sort of endeavour. I know it will remind me of why I love my job so much!" said Dr Phillips.

Xtreme Pole Quest airs its first of four episodes tonight on Channel 5 at 7pm.

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