Athlete Diagnosis Clinic Helps Athletes Recover from Numerous Injuries
One year into a new joint project, the Mary Peters Trust and the Rory Foundation are working together to ensure talented young athletes get back to competing on the track, court or pitch as soon as possible.
For the last year, their Athlete Diagnosis Clinic has helped young athletes from a huge variety of sports, including Boxing, Fencing, Squash, Tennis and Athletics, get back to their respective sports quickly.
Jack Agnew is a positive example of a young Para-athlete for whom the clinic has made a significant impact. Jack experienced knee pain and contacted the Mary Peters Trust to seek their advice. That afternoon, he was seen by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and had an MRI scan the following day. The MRI showed an injury requiring an operation, which was carried out the following week in the Ulster Independent Clinic. As a result, he was able to return to training, and continue with his preparation for the Para Athletics World Junior Championship.
“This clinic was so important for me. If I missed the Championships, it would have meant two years of training was a waste of time. All those early starts, hard sessions and sacrifices both my family and I made would have been for nothing. I don’t know how I would have dealt with that. I can’t thank the Mary Peters Trust or the Rory Foundation enough, especially as I came home with such great results. I’m thrilled with the outcome,” said Jack.
Four weeks later Jack was part of the GB and NI team competing in five events over five days at the Para Athletics World Junior Championships, where he won two Golds, one Silver and a Bronze medal.
Had Jack’s diagnosis been delayed by one more week, he would not have been fit to compete and would not have achieved “International Classification” meaning that he would not have been considered for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Eilish Rutherford, Chairman of the Mary Peters Trust said;
“We at the Trust are delighted with the success of the clinic over the last year. As we’ve seen with Jack, the quick diagnosis sped up his recovery and got him back to his winning ways. Thanks again to the Rory Foundation for their support and to the team at the Ulster Independent Clinic for providing this service. Athlete’s never want to get injured and unfortunately, it’s not something we can prevent but a quicker diagnosis means a quicker solution and therefore the athletes are returning competing and bringing back medals and good news to Northern Ireland.”
Trustee of the Rory Foundation, Dr Andrew Crone, said;
“It’s been great to have such a clinic in place for these young athletes. It’s fantastic to see the results working so quickly and effectively over the last year, proving it’s been very worthwhile. It came to my attention that we needed a facility like this when Rory injured his ankle back in 2015. He got rapid access to medical and surgical specialists in such a short period of time. This enabled him to get a diagnosis and the best possible management plan within a couple of days of his injury. It made me aware of the fact that injuries can be so costly for athletes, especially ones at the top of their sport. This prompted us to seek a means to how we could organise such a referral system. With the help of the Mary Peters Trust and the Ulster Independent Clinic, this became a reality. For young aspiring sportsmen and women to have access to such specialist medical care within a few days of injury gives them the opportunity to a speedy return to their sport. The Rory Foundation stands for helping children and young people live better lives and I’m delighted we can work in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust to fulfil that.”