Woodland Hospital to the Winter Paralympics
Monday 19 March 2018
Physiotherapist, Stephanie Dear, is on the journey of a lifetime being part of team GB at the Pyeong Chang 2018 Paralympic Games.
Stephanie is one of Woodland Hospitals full-time Physiotherapists. She has brought great enthusiasm and passion to the team and so unsurprisingly was accepted to work at the Winter Paralympics where she is currently supporting the athletes with their physiotherapy needs.
The Physiotherapists at Woodland Hospital not only apply passion and skill to their everyday roles but also reach out to support sporting events, charity work and high level teams. This type of work can range from local projects to international events.
From the wintery views of the Woodland grounds to the bright lights, colourful costumes and sporting atmosphere of one of the biggest winter sporting events in the world, we are thrilled to hear how much she is enjoying it.
From receiving her uniform to the sub-zero temperatures, Stephanie had lots to tell us.
What made you apply to the Pyeong Chang 2018 Paralympic Games? ‘I have always been passionate about sport and treating sports injury- at Woodland I am lucky to work with an experienced team and have access to great facilities. To support using my passion and skillset at such an amazing sporting event is the opportunity of a life time and I have learnt so much already on the frontline of such intense competition.’
What has been your highlight at the games so far? ‘So many highlights and I know there is still so much more to come. Arriving at the games, receiving my uniform and the opening ceremony alone has been such amazing highlights and I keep having to pinch myself that I am so lucky to have had this opportunity! Meeting, working and sharing best practice with other Physiotherapy from all corners of the world is has also been a highlight.’
How has working at Woodland prepared you for this trip? I am working with an orthopaedic surgeon so working at Woodland has definitely helped me develop my skills as an Orthopaedic Physiotherapist to be able to assist him at a high level.’
What experience/knowledge have you gained that you will be bringing back to Woodland Hospital? ‘I have developed a great understanding of what it takes to be involved in such a huge international event and most importantly a better understanding of the physical demands of Paralympic sports. This will be valuable as we plan to develop a sports injury clinic at Woodland in the near future as part of the new development.
I’ve really gained insight about the accessibility difficulties that people with physical disabilities still face. A greater awareness of this would be beneficial in business planning across all platforms. It’s overwhelming the level of appreciation the locals have for what we do. Every time I strap an ankle or treat a patient the doctors and medical services team are always so thankful.
Walking down the road in my uniform locals ask where we are from and think it’s amazing we have travelled this far to help out.
I learned from working at the Deaflympics in the summer and from working here for the Paralympics what sport can do for people, and the community feel that there is, almost family like. Not just athletes but spectators, staff, volunteers. It’s hard to explain unless you get to experience it, but I would recommend the experience to anyone. I’ve also brushed up on some basic Korean and how to prepare for sub-zero temperatures!’
General Manager Tania Terblanche says ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for Stephanie and I am delighted with what her spirit and enthusiasm brings to the physio team at Woodland. We all enjoy receiving her daily updates on our internal social media page and look forward to welcoming her back and hearing the full story. We are all so proud of her and hope that she has a fabulous time.’