As Team Scotland, our objective was to have the best-prepared team possible to compete at the Glasgow 2014 games. It was our goal to be the most successful Scottish Team ever at a games and we achieved it!
My Commonwealth journey began in December 2012 when I was appointed as one of Team Scotland’s physiotherapists. From this point onwards we had regular team meetings to plan and prepare for our roles and service provision leading up to and during the games.
My experiences as a Team Scotland physiotherapist at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011 and at the London Olympic Games had given me a lot of insight into the challenges that the role would bring.
The home games provided many challenges including heightened media attention and therefore increased pressure felt by athletes, management and coaching staff. As a physio I had to be aware of these pressures and not allow the emotions and anxieties of others affect my decision making and clinical judgement.
Working in such a close environment requires excellent communication and with the coaching and management staff. Having worked within the Scottish Hockey for many years I had the advantage of knowing the staff well and having a well-established working relationship with them.
My main responsibility during the games was to look after the Scotland Women’s Hockey Team. I attended all training sessions and treated players within our Team Scotland medical centre. I was pitchside during games to attend to any injuries and supervised warm-up and cool down sessions. The team had been on four months of intensive full-time training to prepare for the games.
I worked with them at weekends in the months leading up to the games and was with them for a two-week preparation camp pre-games. With such an intensive training programme, adequate recovery in terms of sleep, nutrition, warm downs and stretching/mobility was essential to prevent overuse injuries occurring. As well as hands on treatment, my role included leading recovery sessions including stretching/ yoga sessions and arranging the ice baths.
The games experience was fantastic with my highlights being part of the opening and closing ceremonies. It was great to work as part of a wider Scottish Medical Team in a Games environment and I am very grateful to Spire for allowing me the leave in order to fulfil my role.
Kirstin Carroll was one of a number of Perform team members working to support Team Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, including Edinburgh’s SEM Michelle Jeffreys and Pilates specialist Kirsty Mosley, while Perform at Harley’s Street’s Mike Loosemore worked with Team England.