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SV's Jess reports from the Grand Masters Hockey World Cup in Barcelona

Grand Masters Hockey World Cup

SV's Jess Armstrong is currently in Barcelona with the Wales Grand Master’s hockey team as they take part in the 2018 World Cup.

Jess is the team's primary therapist, and has been providing treatment to the athletes, aged 65+, over the course of the tournament, as well as pitch-side care during matches.

Sophie caught up with Jess and asked her a few questions...

How's it going in sunny Barcelona?

All is good. I'm SO busy!!! Keeping 65-75 year olds on the pitch is a busy task, but I'm really enjoying it.

All the players are lovely too, helping to carry my kit, getting me food and drink while I'm treating. It's all been really good.

So what's a typical day like for you?

I wake up for breakfast at 7am and head to the pitch for pre-game treatment 1.5-2 hours before the game.

I respond to any injuries that happen during the game. I provide post-game treatment pitch-side for an hour or so. Then back to the hotel for more treatments. Then dinner and bed.

I'm working with two teams - the 65s and the 70s - so some days there are two games which means I travel from one pitch to another!

What injuries are you seeing?

So far we've been able to maintain no major injuries. A lot of players are getting muscle cramps from dehydration and loss of electrolytes, so recover after the games is very important.

A few players came to the tournament with niggles, but we have been able to sort those out and are keeping the players at maintenance treatments with attention to specific areas.

Both the 65s and 70s are holding together well.

Both teams have made it to the quarterfinals.

The 65s won this morning against the Netherlands 3-1 to move onto the semi finals on Friday.

We don't know who we're playing yet.

What's it like working pitch-side compared to a clinical setting?

It's a very different atmosphere. At clinic, the environment is very controlled where pitch-side is on the go all the time.

I arrive 1.5-2 hours before the game, treat during the game (injury assessment, taping, quick massage to relieve a cramp, etc). Then treat again after the game to ensure the players are ready to go for the game the next day.

What's the best thing about the experience so far?

It's inspirational how fit these athletes are. They range from 65 years old to 75 years old and they're absolutely amazing!

And the worst?


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