Read all about, Pure Moves sport massage therapist Claire Dannatt, experiences at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games…
On December 28th my application to be part of the 2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES medical support team was given the Thumbs Up – I had made the team for the main athlete village in the Gold Coast!
The games were due to commence on 4th April and I arrived in Brisbane, mid-morning of 24th March and was met by a lovely lady, Melody. The next day we sorted mobile phones and I was taken to the Gold Coast to meet Geoff, with whom I would be staying for the rest of my month in Australia.
My first day on the job was the 6.30am early shift. My route to work was only a 20 minute walk through the park were the hockey stadium was, then round the back of The Athlete Village. Geoff’s home could not have been in a better location.
Shifts were either 8.5 hours or 10 hours and were busy from the moment we set up, to the last minute. The recovery centre (massage area) was available to all athletes, coaches and other persons linked to the teams – ie Team Dr, nurse, and was open from 6:45am through to 11pm. We had teams of 4-6 therapists providing sports massage and when all shift teams were in, there were a minimum of 12 therapists working flat out.
As a reward of my hard work I was given tickets to the Synchronised Diving and Rugby 7s!
The great thing about the Commonwealth Games is the sense of friendship between athletes of all sports and towards us, the medical support team. The age range of the competitors was 12-67. Nearly everybody played the ‘Guess which sport’ game. This was the first time the able bodied and para-athletes competed simultaneously. Everybody appreciated the positive message that this was sending to the world.
Once the games had started the work atmosphere became more intense as it was essential to aid each individual in their preparation to compete. As events came to a close the atmosphere relaxed and we were able to rejoice the achievements of Commonwealth first timers, personal bests and medal winners. Also, to pick up those who didn’t achieve their goals in order to help set them up for the next event.
I did manage to get a few days away from the Village and visited the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary, the top of the Skypoint QI building in Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay and Springbrook National Park, as well as having a very successful surfing lesson. This is worth going back for!!!
I give my heartfelt thanks to those who gave me the opportunity to work with the best athletes in the world, which include, Team Wales Para-athletes, the men’s Pakistani Hockey team, South African Rugby 7’s, men’s 4 x 100m Gold, and the women’s Long Jump Gold.
[Photo: middle row left]