ESP Physio has landed in Stirling – Physiotherapy for Stirling County Rugby Club

November 11, 2019

For ESP Physio, 2019 has arguably been our most exciting year yet!  Firstly we set foot into Glasgow with a new physiotherapy clinic, and added both Gordon and Andrew as two new full time physiotherapists into the team bolstering us to four full time physiotherapists. 

We also took over as the official provider of physiotherapy services to Stirling County Rugby Football club. This saw ESP move our Stirling physiotherapy clinic out of MXP Fitness and into the rugby club itself at Bridgehaugh. Despite the flash floods and flooding of the rugby club earlier on in the summer we finally settled into the building, and we are now running our private physiotherapy clinic out of there.

This rugby contract was especially exciting to us as it would see Stirling County enter the Scottish Rugby Unions new FOSROC Super 6 tournament along with six other Scottish franchised teams, namely: Ayrshire Bulls; Southern Knights; Boroughmuir Bears; Watsonians Rugby; and Heriots rugby. 

As part of our agreement with the club this would mean that ESP Physio would now be providing all of the physiotherapy provision for the Super 6 team, which is comprised of a mixture of part-time and professional players. Essentially this competition has become the new top tier of domestic rugby in Scotland. The specifics of this for us as a company would involve weekly training night physio clinics, and match cover at the weekends all across central Scotland and across the border later in 2020 against the Welsh teams Merthyr, Cardiff, Pontypridd, Llandovery, Ebbw Vale and Aberavon.

Providing a physiotherapy service to the Super 6 team was a big enough challenge on its own right, but on top of that ESP would need to supply match cover and weekly clinics for the Wolves, Accies, Ladies, and U-18’s teams! Fortunately for ESP our physiotherapist Tom Ellerton-Unwin had been working at County for several years providing great support for the club. Between Tom, the club officials, and ESP’s Director and ex-Stirling County number 10 Mark Mckenzie, we were able to draft a plan for this provision. This first involved finding additional staff to support the program. After a lengthy and detailed recruitment drive we settled on a back room team of chartered physiotherapists Heather Cameron, Katie Laverty, Elidh Ironside, and Ross Hughes with clinic support from Glasgow Caldedonia University Physiotherapy students Simon O’Callaghan and Moray Sharpe.

After two preseason warm-up matches against Watsonians and the Newcastle Falcons, Stirling County won their first match of the tournament on Friday night against the Boroughmuir Bears. Stirlings’ team was captained by Reyner Kenndey, and bolstered with 3 Glasgow Warriors players including Adam Ashe. For Mark and I as directors of ESP there is certainly a strong connection and sense of pride with these two players, as both Reyner and Adam were involved in the Caledonian U-16 pathway that Mark coached when working with the SRU in the mid 2000’s. This was also my first post with the SRU as the physiotherapist for this regional program. It was on these weekends after the games that we sat and had a few glasses of full-bodied red wine and discussed the possibility of beginning a sports performance/physiotherapy company. Fast forward ten years and here we are providing the physiotherapy support to Stirling. We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the set-up of this service, and to the management at Stirling for the opportunity to try what hasn’t been done before, a private physiotherapy business providing all the physio support to a semi-professional club. Finally, a special thanks to Tom for dealing with the transition and driving things forward with the S6 set-up including staff training. 

Our clinic is open to the public Monday to Friday and if you would like to book in for treatment at Stirling then please book here or contact the clinic on 01324 227 370. Stirling County club members receive an exclusive 20% off any treatments and we are registered with all major health insurance companies. 

All pictures with thanks, and courtesy of Mr Bryan Robertson.

Written by Lewis Mitchell, Director ESP Physio

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