The official website recently caught up with its new club therapist Jenna Orr, who replaced the departing Steven Shaw over the Summer.
Q: How did your move to Berwick during the Summer come about?
A: Dennis, the club’s secretary, had contacted me at the end of last season to see what my plans were for the season
ahead. I had covered a game 2 pre-seasons ago and kept in touch. I met with the gaffer and I was really happy with what he had to say.
Q: You’re a sports therapist – are there any notable differences between the traditional ‘physio’ role and the sports therapist?
A: The Sports Therapy degree is aimed at therapists working in the sports and exercise environment, and so is tailored to suit the needs of the athletes you will be working with, whereas the undergrad physio programme is more tailored to working in a health and medical environment.
Upon graduation a Physio has the skills and knowledge to provide therapy at a threshold competence level across the breadth of Physiotherapy practice and lifespan. At the same point, a Graduate Sports Therapists has specialist knowledge of Sports Medicine and Sports Science which includes more specific theoretical background and therapeutic skills (exercise, rehabilitation and manual therapy) that are specifically applied to work in a sport and exercise environment. A sports therapist also has the ability to understand complex and biomechanical problems applied to a clearly defined area of practice.
Q: Could you expand on your time with your previous club(s) – including the role with Scotland Ladies U15s?
A: I have seven seasons of good, solid experience working with various football teams in Scotland (SSFA, Stenhousemuir FC, Motherwell FC, Stirling Albion FC). With that it means I have dealt with youth and senior players, professional, junior and international players and players of each gender. This shows my diversity on being able to establish relationships with a wide variety of players. Over this time I have been supervised and unsupervised whilst working on my own and within a team, allowing me to show that I am very confident and competent within myself and my own skills.
Throughout I have been able to develop my interest in anatomy whilst improving and applying it to me my practical abilities. I have implemented training programmes individually tailored to each athlete’s needs. I have also been able to utilise my skills by working with athletes by gaining pitch side first aid, pre and post treatment and rehabilitation.
This is when I was approached by the Scottish Schools FA U15s, which provided the opportunity to work with up and coming elite athletes in a rapidly developing system and international tournament. This has been my 6th year that I have been involved; it was the first time Scotland had won the trophy at home, and the second win in the 6 years I have been involved.
My main role is to make sure the girls are 100% fit and ready for the challenge of four games in four days. This includes pitch side first aid, massage, ice baths, warm ups and cool downs. Outside of this, when we have overnight stays or the tournament itself, you do end up playing mum to 18 girls; and therefore, I have to be able to build that relationship with the girls so that they come to me with anything that they are unsure of, whether it is an injury or missing home. Even with all the stress and mayhem it can bring, it’s a welcome break from working the boys all the time.
Q: How have you settled in so far? Are you enjoying the role?
A: I feel that I have settled in pretty well, the management team and the boys have made it easy and I’m really enjoying it.
We definitely have a good group of boys this season. It’s always daunting trying to make an impact on an established team but because there are a lot of new boys this year it made it simple.
Q: Andy Russell mentioned you’re in a car pool with him and a couple of others and gave you all a bit of a slating – anything you want to get in back at him?
A: The car school makes the travelling that little bit easier as its constant laughter and that’s all I’m saying!
Q: What challenges do you foresee in your new role here?
A: My main challenge is working with the injured boys as we are only part time. However, that doesn’t mean to say that there won’t be messages back and forth to see how they are and how they are progressing out with training time. Ideally, I would like to see them more often to get them back fit but we just don’t have that luxury being a part-time club.
Q: What made you decide to become a Sports Therapist?
A: When I was younger I was a competitive swimmer with constant knee problems. After attending an injury clinic I became really interested. We were given the option to find our own work placements at high school and I managed to get experience at Stenhousemuir FC and deciding there and then this is what I wanted to do, so it’s been a long time in the making.
The club would like to extend a warm welcome to Jenna and thank her for taking the time out to not only answer questions, but provide the web team with team updates ahead of upcoming fixtures.