Team GB: Salford Uni pair hoping to kick start ‘stellar’ athletic careers in China

A Salford University lecturer and student are hoping to help kickstart ‘stellar’ athletic careers when they arrive in China for tomorrow’s World Cross Country Championships.

Strength and Conditioning Masters student Alex O’Gorman and lecturer Duncan Mason will be working as event physiotherapists for Team GB at the biennial event tomorrow, featuring the world’s best cross country runners.

The pair, who have already worked together for five years, will be supporting a number of current Cross Country Champions in Guiyang including European Champion Gemma Steel, Scottish Champion Andrew Butchart and Welsh Champion Dewi Griffiths.

They will also be working with upcoming athletes including Charlie Hulson, the youngest ever winner of the English National Cross Country Championships, and Amy Griffiths, the 2014 English Schools Cross Country Champion.

Duncan, who has worked at the University for 12 years and is currently studying for his PhD, explained he was confident he’d see some promising careers get off the ground. 

“I’ve no doubt that we’ll see the start of some stellar careers this week,” he said.

“Like the rest of the team and staff I’m really looking forward to the Championships in China.”

The lecturer has notably worked alongside World Marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe and current Olympic Champion Mo Farah in the past and previously supported the British Athletics team at their training camps, having travelled with them to Kenya on four occasions.

Student Alex was approached by the Lead Endurance Physiotherapist about the World Championships after providing physiotherapist support for Team GB athletes last summer at a European Championship preparation camp.

He explained how much he was looking forward to the experience.

“It is a great honour to be able to support runners representing our country,” he said.

“Each athlete is an individual with bespoke needs and demands.

“Facilitating them getting the most out of themselves on race day is very rewarding and you always learn something new along the way.”

Alex revealed how assisting high-calibre athletes could only benefit his degree and stand him in good stead for the future.

“The experiences and knowledge I am gaining during my MSc in Strength and Conditioning has assisted in my holistic approach with my patients, in particular athletes at this level, allowing me to assist them effectively with their goals,” he said.

“It can only be a positive endorsement of the good work that continues to be done at the University of Salford.”

The student also revealed his preparation before his travels.

“[I’ve prepared for this through] VISA’s, vaccinations and acclimatisation via Chinese takeaways,” he joked.

Image courtesy of Duncan Mason via Twitter, with thanks.

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