WCPT sports subgroup advises on international competencies

The International Federation of Sports Physical Therapy (IFSPT) – a WCPT recognised subgroup – has been involved in preparations for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Nicola Phillips, Chair of IFSPT, says the federation has helped shape the interview process for candidate volunteer physical therapists. “We modified the existing LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) interview process to develop a competency-based interview section specifically for PTs,” she says. 

“A range of scenarios were designed to highlight knowledge skills and behaviours based on the IFSPT competencies of a sports physiotherapist. This proved to be very successful and could be a useful legacy to pass on to future Olympic Games organisers.”

IFSPT is attempting to compile a list of members who will be working at the Olympics and helping Marie-Elaine Grant, physical therapy representative on the International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission, gather information about PT activity at the Games. “If successful, this will be the first such data collection of its kind and could be a very valuable resource for guiding future sports PT professional development.” 

The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine, the UK representative group of the IFSPT, has been active in assisting volunteer schemes around Great Britain as part of the London 2012 legacy initiative. 

“There are hundreds of physios and some physio students, who may not have had quite enough experience to be able to volunteer as a London 2012 Games Maker, providing mentored and supervised support to athletes staying in different parts of the UK in pre-Olympic training camps,” says Nicola Phillips. “Some are providing sports massage support, the more experienced are actually providing back-up cover before going into London themselves as Games Makers. Others are acting as extra pairs of hands to help in general – especially in the paralympic camps.”

“It has been a fantastic opportunity to promote the profession and many of the local UK PTs involved have taken up various media enquiries so there is a real buzz around the country.”