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Students help gymnasts with Special Olympics preparation


May 16, 2017

Students from Teesside University are working with a team of gymnasts with special needs to help send them to a prestigious national tournament.

The students are all studying BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation and as well as helping the gymnasts train and recover from injury, they are also raising much-needed funds for the team’s forthcoming trip to the Special Olympics GB National Games.

The Gym World Special Needs Gymnastics team, which trains at Middlesbrough College, needs to raise £7,000 to take their members to the competition held in Sheffield in August.

To help them on their way, the Teesside students Leah Gibbs, Kevin Gamblin and Emma Warr are assisting the team to raise money by helping with packing bags at a local supermarket and are organising a charity fundraising event to be held later in the year.

The trio also regularly volunteer at the club and put the skills which they have learned on their degree course into practice by working with the gymnasts on training techniques and exercises to help rehabilitate them after injury.

The club has 18 members aged between six and 42. Head coach Sandra Jennison said: “To send a team to the Special Olympics is very costly. We don’t receive any external funding and rely totally on volunteer support, so to get this help from the Teesside University students is fantastic.

“The work that they do with our members is of enormous benefit and we couldn’t do without them.”

Leah said: “The club is extremely popular and does some amazing work with its members and we’re delighted to be helping them in this way.

“Also, being able to put what we’ve learned on our course into practice is of enormous benefit while we complete our degree.”

The BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation teaches the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to recognise associated risks; assess and treat injury and implement appropriate rehabilitation programmes for sport, exercise and health.

Facilities used by students include fully-equipped physio and biomechanics labs, an environmental chamber and a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool.

Senior lecturer in Sport and Exercise, Gillian Naylor, said: “We’re delighted that our students have chosen to apply the skills they have learned on their course to such a deserving cause.

“I’m sure they will help to make a real difference to the team’s prospects.”

Anybody who would like to help the club can contact Sandra Jennison on 07828 722345 or email geoffreyjennison@yahoo.co.uk.

For more information about studying at Teesside University or to attend an open day visit www.tees.ac.uk/visitus

By Emily