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Physiotherapy alumni and staff play key role in elite sport

25 March 2024

Behind the scenes of this years' Six Nations rugby tournament, Cardiff Physiotherapy graduate, Kate Davis was hard at work keeping the England Rugby squad in top physical shape.

As the England rugby team’s physiotherapist, Kate Davis plays a vital role in optimising the performance of the players, and minimising damage from injuries.

It’s a role she’s proud to take on, given all the skills and knowledge she’s gained through her Physiotherapy degree at Cardiff University, as she says:

Studying at Cardiff gave me great insight into the broad spectrum of physiotherapy practice & equipped me with a clinical framework to pursue my career. It is a privilege to work as part of the performance team with England especially in a Six Nations Tournament.
Kate Davis

Sharing Kate’s pride is John Miles who completed the MSc in Sport and Exercise Physiotherapy at Cardiff University and is now working with the Wales squad during the Six Nations tournament.

Kate and John join many Cardiff University School of Healthcare Sciences’ alumni and staff who have decades’ worth of experience as physiotherapists in national and international elite sport.

Professor Nicki Phillips OBE is the Programme Manager for the MSc in Sport and Exercise Physiotherapy. Her extensive experience, spanning 40 years, includes working with the Welsh and British weightlifting teams, Rugby Union sides, and various sports teams at both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

In addition, teaching on the MSc in Sport and Exercise Physiotherapy is Sian Knott with nearly 30 years of expertise in the field of sports injury management. She has worked across numerous sports including Welsh gymnastics, Netball Wales, Wales touch, and professional Rugby Union. Sian has worked at six Commonwealth Games with Team Wales, three summer Olympic Games, and two Winter Olympic Games with Team GB. She will be deputy chief physiotherapist in Paris 2024.

Dr Liba Sheeran, a Reader in Physiotherapy, has over 20 years' experience in sport, having worked with Welsh and UK Athletics as well as multi-sport events such as Olympics, Commonwealth and World University games.

A recent addition to the Cardiff University Physiotherapy academic team is Cardiff alumni Chris Jenkins who attended the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. He is currently teaching on the undergraduate Physiotherapy programme and brings more than 15 years of experience working in elite sport as he guides current students who are looking to begin or enhance their career in physiotherapy.

Right now, both undergraduate and postgraduate physiotherapy students are benefiting from the skills and experience that their lecturers have gained in this field and many are looking to follow in their footsteps, just like graduate, Kate Davis is today.

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