Liz May

Bsc (Hons) Sports Therapist.

2005-2009:

I have been interested in sports and people all my life and feel that it’s what I was made for. Although I have not always had a clear path to follow, I believe that life’s challenges have finally knocked me onto the right one and highlighted what I want to do and what I would be able to excel in using every attribute I have.

In 2005 I headed back to education to study a foundation degree with the Plymouth City College (Plymouth University) in Sports Therapy and I continued this with a one year progression degree program in 2008 at Marjon. I graduated in 2009 and envisaged the setting up of my own clinic by the summer of that year. Becoming a Sports Therapist has enlightened my vocational needs, it’s such an active profession, which offers diversity. The wellbeing of others is important to me and coming from a sporting background I adore being involved in the rehabilitation, treatment and healthcare of all.

I am a very motivated and enthusiastic individual who works well as part of a team as well as on my own. I worked in the public sector for eight years before moving to Portsmouth for a year in 2004, working from “grass roots”, becoming a Leisure Centre Duty Manager in 2001. When I moved back to Plymouth in May 2005 South Hams Leisure Centres re-employed me as a casual Duty Manager to earn monies alongside my studies. Working in such an environment has given me a broad understanding of customer care and the needs of the general public. Throughout my time in the organisation I always gave my best and believe I was wholly dependable, responsible and willing. I feel I have confidences to suggest and implement new ways of working in a manner, which always “get the job done”, I also feel I have learnt to be both innovative and resourceful.

I gained valuable experience in the leisure environment and I’m used to working to high standards. I feel I am good with people, always having a sense of humour, and the ability to connect with all ages and ability. Throughout my working career, I have always studied part time to develop and enhance my knowledge, enabling me to perform my job and duties to a higher standard and this will continue as a Sports Therapist by maintaining a Career Development Plan. I will endeavour to continually meet the expectations of the Society of Sports Therapists, The British Association of Sport Rehabilitators and Trainers as well as the Health Care Professionals when Sports Therapy is professionalised.

I am interested in all sports, but my primary interest is table tennis, I have been coaching since the age of 16, coaching different abilities and people as well as being involved in community projects to encourage adults with learning disabilities to play sports. I have been the captain of a successful Women’s British League team for sixteen years, in which we have become British Champions three times. Playing at such a high level as an amateur has increased my confidence considerably and inspired me to work harder for the teams I play for both locally and nationally. My experiences will also help me in becoming the best sports therapist I can be.

2009-2013:

As envisaged I have been working from my own Sports Therapy Clinic since July 2009. I was initially based at The Plymouth Chiropractic Clinic, however in July 2011; I moved into my own premises and continue to build my own business and Sports Therapy Career.

The experiences I have learnt and continue to learn have been unprecedented. Not only do I practice as a “Sports Therapist” but I also run the clinic single handily and have therefore utilised my past work experiences within the Sport and Leisure Management field to aid in the best possible service provision of my clinic.

As a sports therapist I am very active, continually educating myself in order to provide the best possible care to the patients and clients that attend my clinic for both treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries, or for those who attend just to have a relaxing massage. Interpersonal skills are paramount, and something I find comes naturally to me is the ability to communicate with all ages and abilities with ease.

In November 2010 I agreed to a secondment with The Plymouth Chiropractic Clinic, to work as a Personal Chiropractic Assistant to Dr Wayne Whittingham. This was an opportunity too good to miss as Dr Whittingham’s experiences and knowledge are phenomenal and he is known worldwide for his work in Chiropractic Care. I grasped the opportunity with both hands and my secondment continued until the end of October 2011, seven months later than expected.

As an extra curricular activity I continue with the participation and coaching of my sport – table tennis, to the best of my ability. I continue to compete in the Premier Division of the Women’s British League. I was the Plymouth League Table Tennis Coaching Officer as a volunteer for two years and like to believe I have helped develop the coaching in both Plymouth and the South West Region. I have worked closely with the Regional Coaching Officer to create a development centre for under 13’s in my area. I have also been coaching the South West Regional Squad once a month for over two years for the English Table Tennis Association as well as being involved in County Athletic Assessment Days as part of the Playground to Podium scheme. This scheme helps young disabled people develop their sports from physical education lessons and community sport to high level competition and performance.

Recently my career and hobby intertwined and I was asked to represent Wales as the Ladies Senior Coach and Team Sports Therapist for the Table Tennis Six Nations. This was a fantastic opportunity and one I hope to repeat for the Great Britain teams on a regular basis.

My biggest achievement in September 2010 was founding the fundraising Pink Pong, the group aims to “Make a difference on and off the Table”, by raising money and awareness of cancer as well as introducing people to the world of table tennis. After participating in twelve running races in 2011 for Pink Pong, in 2012 I am looking forward to the Paris Marathon.

2014-Present:

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

It’s been five years since I graduated as a Sports Therapist and I believe my previous career in Leisure Management gave me the foundations to move straight into my own clinic.  Becoming a Sports Therapist was the best career move I made and I still adore being involved the rehabilitation, treatment and healthcare of all.   I have recently changed my membership to the Sports Therapy Association whose mission statement is “Promoting Excellence in Sports Therapy”.

Throughout my working career, I have always studied part time to develop and enhance my knowledge, enabling me to perform my job and duties to a higher standard.  I have also been fortunate enough to gain valuable experiences working within the NHS as a Physiotherapy Assistant in 2008 and a Rehabilitation Support Worker in 2013.  Working in a multidisciplinary team were significant in understanding acute care in a clinical setting, working closely with both physiotherapy and occupational therapy staff in order to discharge patients safely and in accordance with their discharge plan.  Working in Respiratory and Neurology maybe different from musculoskeletal work, however the empathy for the patient remains the same.  I am a big believer that different clinical and therapeutic treatment works for different people and its important that we all work together as a team for the greater good of health, lifestyle and performance,

I continue to compete at a reasonable level in my Sport; however over the past few years coaching has taken more of my time.  I run my own Table Tennis club at Chaddlewood Farm Community Centre and I am also the Plymouth and District Table Tennis Coaching Officer.  I am lucky that my career and hobby have intertwined on several occasions now by representing Wales in an international capacity.  These are always fantastic opportunities and I remain to hopeful they continue.

My fundraising group Pink Pong is coming up for four years and I have been deeply touched by the support I have and continue to receive.  We have become a partner with Cancer Research UK and the Irish Cancer Society and the hard work of my teams both in the UK and Ireland, I am continually grateful for….we are making a difference.

Sports Therapy Career Summary:

FdSc Sports Therapist – 2008

Bsc (Hons) Sports Therapist – 2009

UKCC Level 2 Table Tennis Coach – 2011

Plymouth Coaching Officer – 2008 – 2010 & 2013 – Present

Plymouth University Sports Personality of the Year – 2005/2006

Plymouth City Sports Personality Team of the Year – Nominated in 2010.

Founder of Liz May Sports Therapy Clinic – 2009

Founder of Pink Pong – 2010

Welsh Coach and Sports Therapist at The Senior Table Tennis Six Nations – 2011

Junior South-West England Girls  Table Tennis Coach UKSG Gold Medallists – 2012

Senior Table Tennis Six Nations Sports Therapist – 2013

UKCC Level 3 Table Tennis Coach – 2014.

Welsh Coach and Sports Therapist at The Junior Table Tennis Six Nations – 2014

19 years as Captain of WBL Team – 3 Times British Champions!

Women’s British League Solihill Trophy – 2014

Cancer Research UK Flame of Hope Commendation – Pioneer of the Year 2014

Devon Sports Awards – Devon Volunteer of the Year 2015

Devon Sports Awards – Outstanding Contribution to Sport 2015

Cancer Research UK Flame of Hope Commendation – Pioneer of the Year 2016

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