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I thought I would write a small blog to give you a bit of a back story about how I got to where I am today.

I graduated with an undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Therapy from Leeds Beckett University in 2019. Upon completion I decided I wanted to expand my knowledge in this field, with the next step for me being to complete a master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Medicine. I started both my master’s degree and my role as a Sports Therapist at SB Sports Massage and Rehabilitation in Leeds in September 2019.

During my time at University I experienced numerous placement opportunities – all offering different experiences. I have provided post event massages at the Great North Run in 2017, 2019 and the 2019 London Half Marathon. During my time with Bradford Bulls Rugby League team, I would lead the team through foam rolling and small group prehab sessions. Furthermore, I shadowed the head therapist at pitch side training sessions and provided sports massages. I also experienced working with the Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Union Team, where I would provide sports massages to the players at their early morning training sessions. I was also lucky enough to work a season with the Leeds United Girls Regional Talent Club. This role allowed me to gain an insight into the injuries that the girls attained and how the club helps young female footballers develop and assist them with getting onto the England Talent Pathway.

Of course, with any sport comes injuries. At both rugby clubs, injuries would range from dislocations to concussions to pulled muscles. From my perspective, it was interesting to compare the injuries sustained by the rugby players and the footballers. Due to the players at Leeds United being juvenile, it led me to research growth related injuries such as Osgood Schlatter’s and Severs Disease.

Since the age of 5, I’ve had a real passion for tennis, and from a young age I found the competitive side of the sport super fun. I’d travel all over the country to compete! I then started representing my home county of Cumbria, which involved much more travelling!

After 7 years of representing my county, it was time for me to move to University. Throughout the past 4 years of studying at Leeds Beckett, I continued to play tennis competitively. Playing against University teams all over the country. The passion for the game and the support everyone would offer really drove me to play my best and improve my game.

I like to continue expanding my knowledge – whether this is by reading journal articles, attending conferences, or completing online courses. I have also completed courses in both The FA Level 2 in Emergency First Aid in Football (EFAiF), and most recently The FA Level 4 Intermediate Trauma Medical Management in Football (ITMMIF). Extra online qualifications that I have attained are, the UK Anti-Doping Accredited Advisor, FIFA Diploma in Football Medicine, Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity.

I’m constantly looking for extra learning I can complete, whether this is a bit of light reading or learning a new skill. I am always willing to gain a stronger knowledge, so I can offer the best support and guidance to my patients as possible.

Rachael Harris BSc MSc Sports Therapist

You can find more great inforomative blogs at https://sb-massage.co.uk/blog/