Bisham Abbey or Bust

Written by Jim Roberts

Edited by Andrew Thomson

Bisham Abbey or Bust


Injuries suck! There’s no two ways about it, it doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or not. If something is hampering what you want to do it sucks!!

I’d been carrying a shoulder injury since around November 2016 which was slowly getting progressively worse. So after the European championships it was time to get myself sorted. One of the downfalls to losing the UKSport funding that we no longer had a team physio who could monitor injuries and implement treatment plans.

The GB team still has a medical package in place, so I was able to use EIS (English Institute of Sport) services. But through no fault of mine or the EIS, my treatment at least to start was inconsistent I saw seven different medical professionals each implementing a different treatment plan.

The most frustrating part of the whole process was that there was no consistency I didn’t see the same physio twice so there was no monitoring of my progress.

The turning point came when I got to go to the IRU (Intensive Rehab Unit) at Bisham Abbey. As an athlete it’s the kind of place that you hope you never have to visit but when you do you’re glad that such a place exists.

The IRU is a facility put in place by the ‘British Olympic Association’ and the ‘English Institute Of Sport’. It comprises of a team of doctors, physios, S&C coaches, soft tissue therapists, nutritionist, physiologists and psychologists all working together in a purpose-built facility to come up with a treatment plan.

Only 3 athletes are accepted in to the IRU each week.

I’ve visited the IRU twice, each for a week of treatment. The weeks you spend in the IRU are extremely hard work. The schedule is packed so that you optimise the time that your’e there, I’ve also been given a program that I can implement away from the IRU.

The results were noticeable almost immediately. The weeks following my visits I’ve noticed big improvements.

One of the best things about having to visit the IRU for treatment is the other athletes you get to meet. It provides an amazing training environment where everyone pushes each other. You realise there are people in similar situations to you (and in some cases worse). I’m happy to say I’ve met some incredible athletes with incredible stories that I’m sure I’ll keep in touch with for a long time to come. Seeing other people overcoming their own personal challenges invigorated my own personal drive.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the whole IRU team for all their hard work in getting me back to a point where I feel comfortable to compete again.

I’ve missed two club tournaments during this rehab process but its all been for the bigger picture which is the world championships in August.


The work continues…

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