A third of Sports Massage Practitioners at the Commonwealth Games are Members of the Scottish Massage Therapists Organisation founded by Brooks-Carter Clinic osteopath Maggie Brooks-Carter DO, RGN, SMTO and the late Nick Carter in Aberdeen in 1992.
Maggie and Nick trained Alan Hay (through Scottish Massage Schools also run from Aberdeen). He is now the Lead Sports Massage Practitioner for the Commonwealth Games and is the organiser of the Sports Massage Practitioners. He is also the Lead Sports Massage Therapist for the Scottish Institute of Sport. He has done a great deal to help get Sports Massage where it is and was presented with the Nick Carter Memorial Trophy for the therapist who had done the most for Sports Massage promotion.
Maggie continues to run the SMTO from Aberdeen as Chairman and is joining her colleagues to form a medical team with doctors, sports doctors, nurses, physios, podiatrists, optometrists and more. She is working in the Polyclinic in the Athletes’ Village which is fully equipped with its own MRI scanner and Xray machines.
Trainings are complete and the first shift is on Sunday 13th July – preparing athletes for the competition.
Maggie and her colleagues are proud to represent Massage on the world stage and proud to offer Sports Massage Therapy to athletes from all over the Commonwealth.
As richer nations have their own teams of practitioners so other nations are also going to be able to benefit from the amazing effects of Sports Massage.
Renowned athletes have spoken out for years about how much better they can train and perform thanks to Sports Massage and they have helped Remedial and Sports Massage get where it is today with practitioners all around the world.
As far back as 900 BC, Homer was writing about the benefits of massage and exercise in the Iliad and the Odyssey. Galen (born in Pergamon, 131-201 BC) is considered the father of Sports Massage but it has taken some time to reach the point of being in a team of Sports Massage Practitioners at CG14 - from Galen who was a doctor at a school of gladiators!
Vladimir Kuts, a Soviet Long distance runner set an Olympic record for the 10,000 metres beating British Runner Gordon Pirie in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. He reported that he could not have undertaken the rigorous training necessary to win the Olympic gold if he hadn’t had a massage every day to help him recuperate faster. By 1984, massage became available to all athletes at the Olympic Games.
Indeed, the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984 saw the first official team of Sports Massage Practitioners in attendance. This has developed into Sports Massage Practitioners being part of the teams supporting professional (and amateur) athletes at all levels at most good sporting events. Members of the SMTO worked at the Olympics Sports Massage Team in 2013 in London.
In 1998, SMTO Members provided Sports Massage for the Junior Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. Now, they are ready to work as Clydesiders in Glasgow.
In Glasgow, the Sports Massage Practitioners will be working alongside Sports Medicine Doctors, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists and more. Maggie is working in the Polyclinic at the AthletesVillage though there are Sports Massage Practitioners based at all the main events.
Most serious athletes work out every day to achieve peak performance and the highest level of fitness. This training intensity and consistency comes at a cost, however, as muscle stiffness, physical and mental fatigue, pain, stress and injuries are a constant threat. Many athletes require Sports Massage to enable them to train at the highest level every day.
Sports Massage aims to reduce the stress and tension which builds in the body's tissues as a response to physical activities. Athletes at the Commonwealth Games will know already that Sports Massage can be of assistance throughout all stages training, during and post competition as well as providing injury recovery and prevention. Sports Massage improves circulation and lymphatic flow as well as helping metabolic waste move into the circulation – ‘rubbish out – good stuff in!’. Sports Massage Practitioners will be aware of their role in assisting the increase or decrease of muscle tone and length using a variety of techniques including manipulating and rehabilitating the soft tissues of the body – the muscles, ligaments and tendons. This is important as many athletes rely on the increased tone to perform their sport.
Injuries usually occur as a result overexertion and repetitive strain coupled with the stress of competing. What this means is that athletes who get a regular massage are able to work harder day to day to achieve peak physical performance and fitness.
Go Scotland – and SMTO Members are certainly going to do their bit to make sure that the Glasgow Commonwealth Games is a huge success. There have been several training days and the work and dedication of everyone involved is to be admired.
Many athletes and sports enthusiasts attend Maggie and her colleagues already at Brooks-Carter Clinic at Braehead Way Shopping Centre, Bridge of Don. The more people that seek Remedial and Sports Massage, the more the word gets round!