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The team behind the athletes

The team behind the athletes

As the world's attention turns to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games, there will be a very important team working away quietly behind the scenes.

The New Zealand health team, which includes 11 physiotherapists, will be busy making sure the New Zealand athletes remain injury free and performing at their peak.

Physiotherapy New Zealand President Ian d'Young says the Commonwealth Games are a chance for New Zealand to shine on a world stage.

“We’re fortunate that alongside the team we have an amazing group of dedicated physiotherapists who have a lot of experience working with elite athletes. Theirs is often an unheralded contribution but I know just how grateful the athletes are to have their skills and knowledge with them in Glasgow.”

Lead physiotherapist Jordan Salesa has been to every Commmonwealth and Olympic Games since 2000 and says Games life has got into his blood.

He explains that it will be "all hands to the pump" most of the time, particularly with the team sports.

"There will be hands-on stuff for small aches and pains, assessing ankles, knees and shoulders , rubbing, stretching and clicking, mobilising things. We are still doing what everyday physiotherapists do, but we have more time," he says.

An athlete may get two hours treatment or three 20-minute sessions a day if that's what is needed to get them performance-ready after stresses and strains.

Along with Jordan there are three other health team physiotherapists and seven others who accompany specific teams to the Games.

The physios behind the NZ team

1. Mary Dunning - NZ Women's Black Sticks

2. Mark Harris - Bike New Zealand

3. Sharon Kearney - Silver Ferns

4. Peter Lee - NZ Men's Black Sticks

5. Jordan Salesa - health team

6. Kara Thomas - health team

7. Rone Thompson - Triathlon

8. Vanessa Trent - health team

9. Rebecca Vanweerd - health team

10. Matt Wenham - All Blacks Sevens

11. Tawhai Whitewood - athletics/track and field


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