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College tutor helps athlete to Olympic world record success

October 1, 2012

West Cheshire College sports tutor Simon O’Brien has returned from London 2012 after working as the sports therapist for the Botswana Olympic Team.


Sports Tutor Simon O'Brien with Botswana silver medal winner Nijel Amos

Simon worked with a team of four athletes throughout the Olympic Games, including 18 year old Nijel Amos who won silver in the men’s 800 metres, breaking the world junior record.

Simon said: “I was selected to be the official masseuse after I emailed a couple of small countries volunteering my services for the Games and Bostwana got back to me asking for my assistance.

“The whole experience was amazing, being in the Olympic Village was like a different world and watching Nijel win silver and break a junior world record in a packed stadium against world class athletes, was unbelievable.

“I met so many great athletes including Usain Bolt, Rebecca Adlington, Oscar Pistorious and my hero James Cracknell.

“I had dinner one night and was sat on a table next to Team GB’s football team where the likes of Ryan Giggs were eating and another highlight was meeting Luis Suarez and the rest of the Uruguay football team.”

A typical day for Simon in the Olympic Village involved pre and post-training massages and stretches on the warm up track whilst the athletes were preparing for their events. He also accompanied the athletes to the Olympic Village’s poly clinic for an ice bath and to have their blood taken for drugs tests as well as going along to the Olympic committee meetings to discuss the training and injuries of the athletes.

 On the day of the athletes’ events, Simon did pre-event and post-event massages.

Simon’s highlight of the Olympics has been training with world class, elite athletes. Simon added: “There is talk of me working with the Botswana athletes again in future tournaments, which would be a fantastic opportunity.”

Simon is a tutor for the College’s new evening course in Certificate in Sports Massage (Soft Tissue Therapy) endorsed by the Sports Therapy Organisation (STO). The course will run from September to June and will cost £800 and successful learners will be able to apply for full membership of the STO, so they can become a Registered Sports Massage Practitioner.

The College is holding a drop-in sessions at both their Ellesmere Port and Chester Campuses for people looking for advice or to sign up to a course or Apprenticeship.

For more information call the College hotline on 01244 656 555 or visit

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