East Devon support to the England ladies Under-19 netball team

PUBLISHED: 08:09 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 08:09 20 August 2014

Joe Avery (left) and Doctor Sally Dudman who provided medical and physio support to the England Under-19 netball team in Zimbabwe

Joe Avery (left) and Doctor Sally Dudman who provided medical and physio support to the England Under-19 netball team in Zimbabwe

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Exeter Physiotherapist Jo Avery has just returned from a 10-day tour to Botswana as physiotherapist to the England Netball Under-19 team.

Recently married, Avery, 32, is the proprietor of her own physiotherapy practice in Exeter, First Physio and has worked in elite sport both nationally and internationally for over eight years having been physio to GB shooting and squash, Exeter Chiefs and Exeter University Hockey.

She has had strong connections with England Netball for a number of years now and attended their summer training/selection camp in Loughborough in July, as part of the preparations for the tour to Botswana.

The tour was arranged as part of the England Netball preparations for the World Championships in Botswana in 2017, with the expectation being that a good number of the Under-19 squad progressing into the senior team ahead of those championships, with the advantage of a prior visit to the African nation under their belts.

The tour involved six matches against the Botswana U-20 and senior teams, with England winning all six, together with a visit to the British High Commission, the team participating is some local coaching at a school for the deaf.

Team manager Katie Baldwin commented of Avery: “It has been great to have Jo as our physio on tour. From a team manager’s perspective it has been reassuring to know that we have had high quality physio cover on hand at all times from someone who is both knowledgeable and approachable”.

Matches were played at a number of indoor and outdoor venues in Botswana, with the unfamiliar surroundings and unknown opposition proving a challenge to both the players and coaching staff alike. Fortunately there were no serious injuries for Avery or Sidmouth-based team doctor Sally Dudman to deal with.

Of the tour and experience Jo commented: “Being part of any touring sport provides unique challenges as a physiotherapist. The new environment, jet lag and the heat can have a marked impact on athletes performance and injury risk hence my role involved twice daily hydration assessment, stretching and strength sessions to ensure the squad of players had acclimatised and were ready for six games in six days.

Working closely with the coaches, strength and conditioning staff and Sally, the Tour doctor led to a successful winning tour which exposed the player’s competitive international netball whilst abroad”.

Jo’s connection with England Netball is not a one-off. She is appointed physiotherapist to the High Performance England Netball Squad, specifically the Under-17 England Squad for the next 12 months which promotes continuity with the players and coaches by attending the monthly training camp in Sheffield for the rest of the year and into 2015.

Jo’s welcomes all for treatment to her practice, First Physio based at Fitness First, Exeter. More information can be found at www.firstphysio.com

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