As the women’s game continues to develop and become one of the most popular team sports in the country, it comes with great pride that Gillingham Ladies is able to rely upon its strong network of volunteers to ensure the players have all the support and resource to play to the best of their abilities.
Over the summer, the club has been able to attract some fantastic new recruits to the club to help it achieve its ambitions. Most recent to the team is Colin Lukins who joins the club as Physio.
Colin is a keen amateur athlete, regularly competing in Ironman Triathlons, cycling and running events. Colin’s best achievement came in 2011 when he represented Great Britain as an amateur in the World Duathlon Championships (run/bike/run) in Gijon, Northern Spain.
Colin told us it was this keen interest in athletics that led him into the other side of sport; “As a result of all my training I had regular sports massage to help prevent and overcome injuries.”
“My job contract ends in 2015 and I needed to look towards a new career. I decided that I wanted a complete change and do something that I am passionate about – sport and in particular the prevention and treatment of sports injuries, to help people to be able to compete at their best.”
“I qualified in sports massage and remedial therapies (Level 5 BTEC Professional Diploma) in December 2012, having trained with Essentials For Health in London. I am also Level 4 BTEC Holistic (Swedish) massage qualified.”
With such expertise at their disposal, Gills Ladies will now be given the advice and treatment to help look after them post-match, as well as between games. A crucial discipline to control in order to perform the best on match days.
Colin told us further, “I have carried out pre and post event massage at triathlon events but really wanted to attach myself to a team, either rugby or football. To that end I got myself a pitch side first aid qualification.”
Within our Gills Ladies community, Colin revealed how the opportunity to work with the club came around; “A good friend and the father of Gills lady – Lauren Williams- mentioned that the club needed a ‘Physio’. I was lucky that he did the ‘groundwork’ for me speaking to Martin and James and set up a meeting.”
“I visited on a club training night and liked the set up that I saw, albeit I was shocked to hear that the club had little or now help from the men’s team!”
“This is a really exciting opportunity for me to gain greater experience in the prevention and treatment of sports injuries, to keep the players fit to play. To have ownership of that is a big responsibility and one that I feel honoured to have. I will also be providing the pitch side first aid.”
Colin will now be attending Gills Ladies training on Tuesdays and Thursdays “arriving an hour before training to provide any treatments required. I will then be pitch side for the first 45 minutes of the training session to deal with any spontaneous injury issues.”
“I will attend all home games and as many away games that I can fit around my full time job.”
Gillingham Ladies would like to extend a very warm welcome to Colin as he joins the club in a very important and beneficial capacity.
We hope he has relatively quiet first season!