For the first week of July 2019, Josh French, sports chiropractor and clinical director of Pro Chiro, travelled to Tortosa in Spain to provide sports chiropractic treatment at the CSIT World Sports Games.
What is the CSIT World Sports Games (WSG) I hear you ask? Its a biannual international tournament organised by labour unions around the world to allow their workers the chance to compete in an amateur olympics. For the WSG in 2019 there were around 3500 athletes in attendance! Josh was part of a 24 person team representing FICS (International Federation of Sports Chiropractic). This team was spread out over multiple venues to provide expert sports chiropractic care to any athletes, volunteers, coaches or officials who injured themselves during the competition or had pre-existing injuries.
This is Josh’s sports chiropractic report from the week:
What. An. Experience.
My first international sports event working as a sports chiropractor. A very tough, out-of-my-comfort-zone and tiring experience, but incredibly rewarding and fun.
The picture above was taken after we had set up on day 1 at the football stadium. Here I was, working alongside sports chiropractors from around the world and to say I felt nervous would be an understatement. In fact, the whole of the first day I felt totally out of my comfort zone and that I didn’t belong amongst the team. However, after reflecting, I realised that all of the sports chiropractors in our team started from the same position as me. They all had their first event at some point. We all had the same Sports Chiropractic qualification and all shared a passion for helping athletes play at their best and for introducing chiropractic care to newcomers. Once I realised this I grew in confidence tenfold and I will really cherish this experience for years to come.
One of the most empowering moments of the week was very early on, during the opening ceremony. Altogether there were around 3500 athletes from around the world competing. During the parade before the opening ceremony these athletes were taking photos with each other. People from around the globe with nothing in common, not even language. Nothing in common, apart from sport. Their shared passion for sport and for competing brought them together. It was as clear a sight as any as to the power of sport to bring people together. To bring people from different cultures and different backgrounds together in shared joy and passion for something. It was a really powerful moment watching this happen all around me and one I wont forget.
During the course of the week, I had the pleasure and fortune to work with athletes from the following countries: Spain, Portugal, France, Mexico, Russia, Iran, Slovenia, Austria, Belgium, Korea and Latvia. I may have missed a couple, but you get the picture. It was a global event, and the participants reflected that!
For many of the athletes we helped, it was their first taste of chiropractic care. Watching their faces light up after their treatment was amazing, and seeing their happiness at being able to get back on the pitch and carry on playing with their compatriots was such a great thing to be a part of. This is the real reason we were there. We weren’t there for glory. We weren’t their for success or fame. We were there to introduce sports chiropractic care to people from around the globe to enrich their lives and further our profession. Only through getting out there and sharing what we do with people from all backgrounds can we broaden the horizons of the Sports Chiropractic world.
And finally a little story about my own personal development. During the final part of my FICS Sport Chiropractic qualification, I was lucky enough to have a sports chiropractor from Denmark (Rene Fejer for those in the know..) as one of my instructors. I learnt so much from him during the training and felt inspired by his stories of working at previous elite sports events.
To my delight, Rene also attended the CSIT WSG with us and what’s more, I was partnered with him for three days covering the football competition. So for me this really came around full circle – I went from learning from him as a student to working alongside him (and still learning from him!) as a colleague. This was incredibly rewarding and really affirmed to me that I am on the right path. He even trusted me enough to ask me to treat him while we were there, and this was just such a special moment for me.
This week was so memorable for me in many ways. The opportunity to work with elite sports chiropractors from around the world is a truly priceless thing. As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact us here, or you can visit our Facebook page for more information and for more updates on what we’re up to.