Lions benefit from UCB influence

Lions benefit from UCB influence

Playing a com­­petitive game – of any sort – is dependent on a number of things, the players themselves, the coaches, the referees and officials and of course a booked facility, but sometimes some of the guys that deserve the most credit are often the unsung heroes, those that keep the players playing and the sport supported.

Enter stage left, our physio and sport therapist crews. The Lions are indebted to have Pups Kaur and Jinda Ghuman available from Versatile Therapists – who, having been with the team for a number of years now, have developed a strong hand in glove relationship with the squad to great effect – but when it came to undertaking the Lions pioneering trip to Finland, to take part in the inaugural 11 aside Diamond Bowl, a requirement for more hands was most certainly needed.

In step University College Birmingham (UCB), who have philanthropically provided the team with not one, but two therapists for their trip.

Callum Davidson, an accomplished footballer in his own right – formerly a Lions’ junior QB and now a senior player with the Sandwell Steelers – joins the team as a fully qualified Sports Therapist. Having recently earned his 1st from UCB in BSc Sports Therapy, a degree accredited by the Society of Sports Therapists, he now operates as a Graduate Teaching Assistant with UCB as well as working for Sutton Coldfield Rugby.

Our final compliment is Kerensa Scott, who gained her Level 4 Sports Massage qualification in 2008 from the London School of Sports Massage. Kerensa has been studying BSc Sports Therapy at UCB since September 2015. A third year student she currently works with Nuneaton RFC and the British Police, having had prior stints with the South African Super Rugby team, the Natal Sharks, British Army Rugby League and the Second Battalion Princess of Wales Royal Regiment RFC.

Diligent care of contact sportsmen and women is clearly something both Kerensa and Callum have down-pat, something that Lions’ Lead Therapist, Pups Kaur is clearly on board with:

“The assistance we have received from Callum and Kerensa in the lead up to the tournament, in their preparation and treatment of players has been invaluable. The BSc Sports Therapy programme offered at UCB clearly delivers [to its students] an excellent understanding of the assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries that may develop during a variety of different sporting activities.

“As such Callum and Kerensa have demonstrated both a sound understanding, and strong skill set in carrying out sports therapy techniques such as injury assessment, taping, stretching, mobilising and soft tissue manipulation. Participating in the Diamond Bowl is a fantastic opportunity at this early stage in their careers and we have no doubt that they will continue to display outstanding work both on and off the field over the course of the team’s trip to Helsinki.”

Kerensa concurs: “This is an excellent opportunity that’s been presented to me by the Lions and UCB, one which will enable me to widen my sporting experience, learn more about American Football and learn more from senior therapists. The icing on the cake is getting to travel to a new country and broaden my network.”

UCB’s Assistant Dean of Sport Elaine Limond, is equally supportive of the opportunities presented and how this may benefit her two charges moving forward:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for both Callum and Kerensa, where both will gain invaluable tournament and international experience in a professional environment with the Birmingham Lions. Placements like this give students and graduates an added edge in a competitive job market and we are proud to support a wide range of sports throughout Birmingham and the UK. Everyone at UCB wishes Callum, Kerensa and the Lions all the best for this inaugural competition!”

…and for Callum, it’s a slightly different experience than he’s used to perhaps but one he’s fully ready and excited for: “I have seen the other side of things as a player, so I understand and can relate to the athletic mentality and demands of American Football. It will be a long few days, very tiring, very physically (and mentally!!) demanding for everyone involved, but that’s part of the job and I cannot wait!

“It is a great honour to be a part of such a historic event. I have been associated with the Lions for a number of years now but this opportunity most definitely ranks amongst my favourites as a member of the #Pride.”

May we thank UCB again for their generous contribution to our programme for this unique event and wish Kerensa and Callum all the best with their duties with the team. Safe travels all and good luck!

Considering a pathway in sports therapy? Then take a closer look at what the great gang at UCB have to offer, courtesy of their undergraduate Sports Therapy courses accredited by the University of Birmingham

Game day image courtesy of and © Ryan Launchbury.

Callum Davidson