Allsports Physiotherapist Andrew Shaw has been on a football pitch since he was old enough to lace up a pair of boots, and now has the fortunate opportunity to work with Olympic FC in the National Premier League QLD.
Olympic FC is a semi-professional soccer club based in Brisbane, Queensland. The club was founded in 1967 and currently competes in the NPL QLD, with home matches played at Goodwin Park.
Growing up playing football, Andrew always knew he wanted to work on or around the field.
“I remember watching a game of football one day and some bloke ran on the field to help a player. I was like – I wonder what do they do? He was a physio. I thought to myself- I’ll go do that,” said Andrew.
Ready to get a head start on his career, Andrew organised his Grade 10 work experience by contacting different local physiotherapy clinics. Allsports Toowong heeded the call and took Andrew under their wing.
Andrew happened to run into the Allsports Toowong team again at university whilst playing football and following that managed to land a job as a physio aide while finishing his Physiotherapy degree.
Fast forward ten years and Andrew is still with Allsports Toowong as an integral part of their team supporting a diverse range of patients.
The clinic is well-respected within the community, working closely with different groups ranging from school aged children through to elite level athletes. The care and support provided by the team has allowed the clinic to build strong relationships and support patients as they move through the different life stages.
“We’ve seen kids in Grade 6 and 7, and they’re still coming back to the clinic when they’re in university and working, because that’s the physio they’re comfortable with and will just keep coming back to see us,” he said.
With constant developments in the industry, Andrew is committed to be at the top of his game. He recently completed his Masters in Sports and Exercise Physiotherapy and has been able to implement updated techniques and employ new strategies with his patients.
“Regardless of who you are, whether you’re running, hopping or whatever your sport might be … Elite athlete or casually playing footy once a week, you’re still trying to give someone that same service you’d provide if you’re working with a national level player,” he said.
Andrew’s studies have also enabled him to refine his approach to physiotherapy for professional players enabling him to realise his teenage ambitions.
Now working in the semi-professional space with Olympic FC, Andrew has helped mature the team’s training program. His involvement has gone from a weekly check-in to developing training and rehabilitation plans alongside the coach. With these in place, Olympic FC are able to make better decisions for the players’ physical welfare.
“Being more involved with the team, we’ll do screening and increase monitoring which has allowed us to pick up a few different potential injuries before they develop into bigger things,” he said.
Providing that regular support is incredibly important to Andrew as undiagnosed and unmanaged injuries in athletes can lead to otherwise preventable long-term health issues. Football players can be at risk of a range of injuries, particularly groin and hamstring issues as well as ankle ligament sprains.
“There’s always an element of luck when it comes to injuries, but I like to think we’ve got a good system in place. We can potentially speed up some of those recoveries as well at this level because there is someone there working them through these injuries,” he said.
The Allsports Toowong clinic has evolved a lot in the years since Andrew’s work experience week, but some things remain consistent like their unwavering commitment to patient care and allegiance to their local community. With the support of an incredible clinic team, Andrew has grown from strength to strength in the last decade with Allsports and we are looking forward to seeing where his work will take him next.