The infamous Dublin Marathon took place at the beginning of the week seeing thousands of runners take to the streets of Dublin but it wasn't just the runners who put in a stellar performance.  Our Sports Therapy degree student Tiego Phelta got to experience first hand what it is like to play the all important role of physical sports massage therapist on the day.  

When Tiego's tutor approached him about being part of the sports massage team at the marathon it was an offer he just couldn't refuse.  Having recently completed the Sports Therapy Diploma Tiego had already honed his skills in Anatomy and Physiology and Sports Massage and the Marathon was the ideal platform for him to put his new skills into real life practice.  "I really wanted to put the knowledge that I had gained to use and I was fortunate to have my tutor Paul Flynn approach me about this fantastic opportunity" says Phelta.

On the day Tiego and his fellow massage therapists were set up with St Johns Ambulance at the 21st mile point, a defining point of the course as runners set into the final stretch of their run.  At this tiring point the runners required work on their calves, hamstrings & quadricep to ensure they made it across the finishing line.  "I mainly carried out deep tissue massage & soft tissue release.  This was basically to relax the muscles and reduce muscle tension.  This technique also helped with realigning scar tissue, lymphatic drainage and pain relief while increasing local blood flow, reduction of muscle knots and improve joint mobility." says Phelta.

Although not a runner himself, Tiego adivses not to overdo it in the lead up to the big day.  He highlighted to have fun with the training and to set yourself realistic goals.  "Put together a lot of solid runs and if you are not meeting the goals set in training then there is no shame in lowering expectations to a more achievable yet respectable target." he states.

Asked what the atmosphere was like on the day Tiego replied "There was a real sense of community. That may be a little clichéd but there was a lot of young volunteers from the area who were being led by the older more experienced members of society. And from a personal stand point I was really grateful to learn as much as I could on the day.  I have never run a marathon and won't be anytime soon.  I appreciate the sport from a spectator position and valued my sports therapy role on the day.

So what's next for Tiego? "Well for the foreseeable future I aim to try and gain more work experience within the industry alongside focusing on my degree programme.  The dream is to hopefully secure a permanent job in the sports therapy field and maybe go on to do a physiotherapy degree.  I  want to thank the college for giving me the opportunity to take part in such an event and hopefully I can do more"

Portobello Institute would like to thank Tiego Phetla for representing the college at this high profile event and wish him every success with his further studies with us here at the college.