Rebecca Webber has a full time, very demanding, job with the National Health Service that leaves her yearning to put her feet up in the evenings, but that doesn’t stop her journeying down to Crystal Palace to provide Trackspeed1-UK athletes with much needed trackside physio’.
The 27-year-old therapist spent five weeks in 2014 providing physiotherapy support to the squad that travelled out to the USA for pre-season training, and has continued to be a key member of the team since, with many quoting her as a real ‘unsung hero’ alongside weekday training sessions.Although unable due to professional commitments to travel to the States this year, she has diligently continued to provide unpaid advice and, in many cases, hands-on maintenance / therapy to Trackspeed1-UK athletes.
“Rebecca has been amazing for so many of the group,” said Head Coach, John Powell. “You can often see how tired she is after a day’s work, but she always arrives with a smile, and definitely knows her stuff.
“Whether it’s maintenance, treatment of an existing problem, or occasionally first aid at training, she is an amazing asset to all of us. In my experience, athletes are pretty fussy when it comes to who they consult about physiological issues, but Rebecca is now usually their first port of call.”
A bitterly cold winter saw a number of issues arise, not least hamstring strains among the squad, and Rebecca played no small role in progressing athlete rehabilitation.
“Physio’ fees are frequently extortionate these days. Although Trackspeed1-UK get significant discounts from two excellent London clinics,” John continued, “but getting regular treatment is pretty unaffordable for most unfunded athletes, and so without sponsorship of any kind, Rebecca is worth her weight in gold to us.”
Squad stalwart, Jason Hussain, who has been a Trackspeed1-UK athlete for ten years agreed: “Rebecca is excellent. She knows her stuff, is always keen to help, and she gets results. She can’t change your world during one training session, but she can send you home feeling alot more positive than you would otherwise have done.”
Sprinter Nathan Gilbert endorsed his coach’s comments: “I’ve not had the easiest time of it this year,” he said, “but Rebecca has been a terrific source of advice and support at training. Knowing she is trackside if anything goes wrong is a luxury most athletes don’t have these days.”
Rebecca said: “It’s a real pleasure to be able to help. I can’t do too much trackside, but if my contribution makes life just a little easier for athletes trying to achieve their goals, then that’s all the job satisfaction I need!”
The sad news for Trackspeed1-UK now though is that Rebecca is moving away from London to Winchester and won't be able to visit Crystal Palace as often, but Grace Newton, a work colleague, will be taking over on a regular basis and is already a hit with all the athletes.
Grace will be at Crystal Palace alongside Rebecca this month, and will take over in ernest in October when the group report back for winter training as Olympic year beckons in 2016.
|Rebecca introduces new squad physio' Grace Newton to some of the squad,|
and Fred Afrifa is the first to give her the thumbs-up!