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Edge Hill University Sports Therapy students pose with cyclists from the Doddie Weir charity ride

News story

Sports therapy students put charity riders back on their bikes

February 16, 2023

Sports therapy students have helped cyclists get back on their bikes in the Doddie Weir charity ride.

A team of 19 Edge Hill University students volunteered at the Doddie Cup 555 staged to raise money for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation – the Scottish international rugby player died from motor neurone disease (MND) in November. 

The third years, who got the chance to meet sporting legends like Olympian Sir Chris Hoy MBE, were honoured to support the cause and valued the opportunity to put their therapy skills into practice with professional athletes. 

Zoe Thomas, BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy student, jumped at the chance to take part. 

“Not only is sports therapy a huge passion of mine, MND is very close to my heart as a much-loved family friend I have known since I was little has been living with this condition for many years.

“This event broadened my knowledge of sports therapy and enabled me to get involved in a great cause. 

Rugby legend Rob Wainwright led the 350-strong team of cyclists along a gruelling 555 miles from Cardiff’s Principality Stadium to the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh. They handed the match ball over to The MND Association’s Royal Patron HRH Princess Anne and the Scottish and Welsh teams before the Six Nations game on Saturday. 

Zoe and her classmates met the cyclists during a pit stop at Orrell Rugby Club and provided soft tissue massage to help them along their 48-hour challenge.  

Fellow student Abby Coleman, BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy, said:

“This incredible experience gave me the chance to gain experience in a real-world sport setting. With the support of my colleagues, I was given a platform to thrive and learn while adding fuel to my passion for helping others. 

“Seeing the impact my interaction with each rider had on them has made my confidence soar while also providing me with experience I can use to demonstrate my skills as I pursue my career.” 

Professor of Sport and Physical Activity Andy Smith was able to offer students this opportunity thanks to the connections he has built up within the sporting community during his time at Edge Hill. 

Lynsey Wilson, senior lecturer in Sports Therapy, added:

“Students and staff are delighted to have been given this excellent opportunity to work with and support the Doddie Weir charity and their ongoing fight to raise money and awareness for motor neurone disease.  

“Our students have been given an invaluable opportunity to apply their practical skills, enhance their ability to communicate with a variety of patients and undertake work-based learning at a professional sporting event while raising money for a worthwhile cause. It has been exciting and rewarding for all of us.” 

February 16, 2023

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