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King's Sport provides remote physiotherapy placement opportunities for students

King's Sport offers remote placement opportunities for students.

Daisy Cooil
Performance Athlete Daisy Cooil

King’s Sport continues to develop relationships across the university, recently expanding and strengthening the partnership with the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine at King’s College London. The King’s Sport team have collaborated with the Physiotherapy department to provide co-curricular learning opportunities for students.

The Kings Sport remote placement model is a fantastic learning opportunity with skills gained in health promotion, prehab and rehab skills. This type of innovation is vital in supporting student’s professional development and maintaining the flow of graduates into the workforce.– Laura Smith- Physiotherapy, Academic tutor

With healthcare services significantly disrupted during the Covid-19 pandemic, we were delighted to work with Kings Sport to develop an innovative remote clinical placement for our physiotherapy students.

This ensured that despite a reduction in traditional face to face placements, students continued to gain essential practice experience working with athletes and the elite sport MDT.

The Kings Sport remote placement model is a fantastic learning opportunity with skills gained in health promotion, prehab and rehab skills. This type of innovation is vital in supporting student’s professional development and maintaining the flow of graduates into the workforce.

-Laura Smith- Physiotherapy, Academic tutor

King’s strives to achieve excellence in all that it does; to support sporting excellence. As part of our Performance Sport programme, King’s Sport has established performance scholarships to identify and advance the university’s most talented individual student athletes and sports teams.

This support package gives King’s Sport athletes access to a wide range of services, including; Strength & Conditioning, Physiotherapy, Nutrition, Lifestyle, Sports Psychology and Career Development.

The placement opportunity was developed to give students an insight into the holistic approach to supporting elite athletes.


The placement not only allowed me to build a good rapport with the athletes but has also given me the chance to build upon my own confidence, enabling me to improve my qualities whilst also working with the athlete.– - Shanjika Mahalingham - BSc Physiotherapy

Shanjika Mahalingham, 2nd-year physiotherapy student at King’s College London, was one of the six individuals to embark on their journey with King’s Sport. Below Shanjika gives an overview of her experience:

The 5-week placement with King’s sport gave me a huge opportunity to work with elite athletes whilst being able to build upon core skills required to be a physiotherapist, such as; communication, professionalism and clinical reasoning to help create an injury prevention programme for athletes.

The placement not only allowed me to build a good rapport with the athletes but has also given me the chance to build upon my own confidence, enabling me to improve my qualities whilst also working with the athlete.

I was also given the chance to complete two courses: UKAD & the Level 2 Mental Health Awareness in Sports certificate. These courses were extremely informative and have really increased my awareness about the impacts of doping in sport, as well as, the mental pressures faced by athletes and how to deal with an athlete who comes out to talk about their psychological mind-set. In addition to the courses, I also had the chance to do some of my own research to create presentations on interesting topics such as how vegan athlete’s performance varies from those who are omnivores and how this affects their athletic career.

- Shanjika Mahalingham, BSc Physiotherapy

The King’s Sport placement was MSC Pre-Reg Student; Anastastasia Kreschenko’s first placement as well as the first time she had worked with elite athletes.

"During this placement, I developed a prehab programme for two individual student athletes. I learnt how to assess clients over a video call and learnt a lot about target sports. We focused on common injuries and how to prevent or rehabilitate them. In addition, I also observed the lead King’s Sport physiotherapist in their athlete assessments and catch-up calls, which improved my own ability to assess athletes.

Our practice educator, Laura, gave us plenty of opportunities to further develop our understanding of elite sports and challenges within. Just to name a few tasks, we attended bi-weekly TASS calls to learn about

dual career and athlete transition challenges, we prepared online content for athletes on topics such as sleep, confidence, mental health, hydration, risk assessment, doping and goal setting. We have also completed CPD courses on UK anti-doping and mental health in sport.

This placement was an incredibly useful experience in sport physiotherapy area, and I have gained a valuable insight into elite sports.”

- Anastasia Kreschenko, MSc Pre-Reg Student

As part of the placement, ten of the King’s Sport Performance athletes were given the opportunity to receive additional individualised support from the physiotherapy students. Jeanne Frebault, a Sabre Fencer studying Theoretical Physics at King’s College London, found the support invaluable.

Jeanne was based in Spain during the period of the placement, with a strict lockdown and not able to go into a gym. Working with Aman allowed her to keep training over a difficult period.

Amanpreet gave me specific support, which was tailored to me to help focus on injury prevention as well as building strength over lockdown. He was really nice and doing the sessions over video was surprisingly easy. I really enjoyed the additional support and found it well organised and beneficial for me.– Jeanne Frebault

Amanpreet Singh who worked closely with Jeanne, reflects on his placement experience below.

“So I started the King’s Sport placement not knowing what to expect as remote placements were very new to me and to a lot of other people too. However, I quickly realized that I could use this experience not only to improve my sport specific physiotherapy skills but to also improve my virtual presentation skills which is extremely vital especially in the current circumstances.

I spent the first week of the placement shadowing other students in the placement to get an idea of what I was required to do. This was very helpful as it gave me a baseline of what I needed to do and improve from there. In the second week I was allocated a King’s Sport Performance student which I ended up creating a very strong relationship with. I started off by getting to know the athlete, doing an initial assessment and then creating a training plan which we did 3 times a week. It was very rewarding to witness the improvements my athlete made in such a short period of time and how they trusted me to prescribe the right exercises.

Not only did this placement help me with the exercise prescription and clinical reasoning side of things, but it also made me appreciate the importance of mental health in sport. This placement required me to do a lot of research but it was very enjoyable and interesting. I was even able to deliver some presentations on different topics that I researched such as; equality and diversity, anti-doping, time management and sports psychology.

Overall, this placement was amazing and would definitely recommend it to other students if they have the opportunity. It is very flexible and you can work from home in our own hours. Although it was a remote placement, I don’t think it put me at any disadvantage compared to other placements as I gained a lot of valuable information that I will use in the future as a physiotherapist”

- Amanpreet Singh

As mentioned, in addition to the physiotherapy students there were other individuals who found the value in this. Performance athlete Daisy Cooil, a second-year student studying History and part of the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme gives her feedback to MSc (Pre-Peg) physiotherapy student Nadia.

Thanks so much to Nadia for working with me over the placement period. She was great and put so much time into it. The sessions have felt super beneficial and have been fun at the same time which is the perfect combo for me. I can see how the exercises I was doing were really well thought through to try and help me with increased strength and injury prevention for when I’m back in my boat.– Daisy Cooil

Jone-Hunn Tsang, (MSc, Pre-Reg) student had a final word to say “The King’s Sport remote placement enabled me to gain valuable experience in MSK practice. Moreover, the King’s Sport team was welcoming and helpful throughout the whole placement. This placement helped me identify my strengths and

weaknesses which I would like to develop for the future. It has also enabled me to improve my clinical reasoning skills, gain confidence in undertaking assessments and prescribing exercise programmes, and improve my communication skills. Overall, this placement experience would undeniably help and prepare me for clinical placements and practice in the future”.

The success of the student placement has led to another student embarking on their journey with King’s Sport in November and discussions around how to implement it into the curriculum moving forwards.

Anthony Currie-Webb, Head of Sport said “King’s Sport are incredibly excited to have established a strategic partnership with the Physiotherapy Department, to provide Placement opportunities to our Students.

Working with our academic colleagues and students is central to the ambitions of King’s Sport and of Estates and Facilities, to deliver transformational educational opportunities and enhance the quality of our services to our community.

We look forward to extending this collaboration to ensure all King’s students are equipped for future success at university and after they graduate".

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Daisy  Cooil

Daisy Cooil

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