My interest in physiotherapy comes from my own personal experience of the science and how it changed my life. For as long as I can remember I have been good at sports, and as I reached high school, this crystallised into a love of football. I was well on the way to a career as a professional footballer, with a place in the Arsenal Youth Team, when I was struck down by a serious injury at just 14 years of age. From having a promising future on the pitch, I was suddenly unable to even walk and my dreams were shattered. Were it not for the patience and skill of my physiotherapist, I may still be in the wheelchair that was mine for a full three months.
My physio worked tirelessly with me, day in and day out, getting me back on my feet when many others, myself included, had thought this was never going to happen. She used a range of existing techniques, and adapted others, to overcome my problems, and as a result, I am now able to walk. I will never play football again, but I still consider myself very lucky.
It is this experience that has led me to want to study physiotherapy for myself, so that I can help other people in the same way that I was helped. I understand that there is a shortage of trained physiotherapists, and I would hate for someone in my position to miss out because they could not access the same incredible levels of care that I had.
I believe that my experiences at the highest levels of youth football will give me an excellent background for this role. Having been in their shoes, I can appreciate the demands on young players and their eagerness to get fit and back playing as soon as possible.
My own experience would also make me well placed to help people whose lives and dreams have been shattered by an accident or injury. My teammates, family and friends never let me down, even though I may not always have noticed this, and I would be able to show others that this support system was in place for them too.
I have always been a good all-rounder at school, and I have focused my sixth form studies towards the sciences in order to pursue my new goal of a career in physiotherapy. I have also spent time with my own physiotherapist, watching her treating other patients and asking many questions along the way to give me a realistic view of the job on a day to day level.
Success on the sports field has given me confidence from an early age, and overcoming my injury has cemented my self-belief and personal resilience even more. I believe that I would be able to draw on these strengths to inspire others with injuries to fight back as I did.
This course would provide me with the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful physiotherapist, and I believe that combined with my personal experience, and the continued mentorship of my own physiotherapist, I could be very successful in this career. What’s more, my contacts at Arsenal FC have said that they would be happy for me to spend time at the club during my studies for work experience, and may even have a job for me after I graduate.