For Kayleigh working with Serena Williams, Jessica Ennis-Hill, and West Ham United FC just wasn’t enough. Read here about how her research helps ex-service men and women amputees.
Name: Kayleigh Jane Dougan
Job Title: Head of Youth Medical
Contact: LinkedIn, firstname.lastname@example.org
Working for: Romford and Gidea Park RFC, Essex County RFC
Studied: BSc (Hons) Sport Psychology.
Who do you work for, and what is your role?
I am self-employed although I hold the permanent positions of “Head of Youth Medical” at both Romford & Gidea Park RFC and Essex County RFC. My role with these two clubs involves providing medical care for the teams during their home games. ensuring any injury is treated, reported and the correct advice is given to the player, coaches and parent/guardians.
I am also employed by the Y.M.C.A. Thames Gateway, Romford as a cancer referral expert, sports coach, rehabilitation coach and fitness instructor. As a cancer referral expert I am actively involved, by means of exercise, in the rehabilitation of people with cancer both pre and post treatment, psychologically and physically. I also provide Y.M.C.A. clients with safe, suitable guidelines for exercise and fitness whilst encouraging and making recommendations to them on how to live and maintain healthy lifestyles. I demonstrate and instruct clients on safe and proper exercise and training.
I also run rehabilitation classes and coach others to become Boccia referees. I manage and run of a soccer class on Saturday mornings for children aged 4+. I train senior school children as part of their G.C.S.E/ A level studies and deliver multi-sport sessions for Primary School children and coach Boccia to young children within schools who then go on to compete at the Lord Taverner’s National Competition.
What is involved in your day-to-day work?
In my self-employed status I take part in the ‘Panathlon Challenge’ where I coordinate the various events across London ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all those involved in the events. I am also a Group Fitness Instructor working for Virgin Active, Fitness First & Romford YMCA where I teach various group fitness classes, and a freelance “Sports Massage Therapist” with my own private client base.
What have been your main career achievements to date?
My achievements to date have included working for some high profile sporting organisations which include:
Leyton Orient Football Club, Leyton Orient Community Project
This involved in liaising with both the club and community groups to conduct exercise classes for clients age 50 or over.
Sports Massage Therapist, Glasgow Commonwealth Games
Following my work at London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, I was retained by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a Sports Massage Practitioner for the hockey players.
West Ham United Football Club, Head of Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
In this role I coordinated with other health care professionals to ensure that all medical needs of the team were met. My role also included providing appropriate massage therapy and soft tissue techniques whilst supervising the student physiotherapists. I was part of a team that were responsible for the full assessment of the team including any fitness tests that needed to be completed.
West Ham United Football Club, Sports Therapist
Advised the team on prevention of injuries as well as examining, assessing and treating those already injured and gave advice on the rehabilitation process.
London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Medical Team
As part of the medical team at the games my role was to treat any injuries or illnesses athletes and spectators may have incurred.
How has your qualification from Bucks helped your career?
When asked to write a testimonial, I thought “where to start”….How do I honestly express how Bucks and the sports program changed my life, and launched me into a successful career? I can only applaud the Sports Faculty for training me over the course of my degree to be well prepared for the workplace, and for arming me with a unique set of skills that are highly useful particularly in the world of sport.
Upon reflection, what skills did your qualification give you that help in your job?
The skills that I acquired while enrolled at Bucks serve as an incredible asset to my everyday work. I currently work across London in many guises as a sport professional. My roles require a robust skillset, specifically with respect to understanding the psychology and science of sport and exercise not only for athletes but for everyday people. I was prepared for this task because of the experience I gained from working with teams in my lectures and tutorials.
What advice would you give to a student who is about to graduate into your role/industry?
If you are lucky enough to be admitted, know that you are in for a rich life-changing experience.
What advice would you pass on to your first year self?
When you first arrive at Bucks you will be incredibly nervous and anxious but you will be able to overcome the challenges thanks to the incredible professors, lecturers and peers supporting you and igniting your sporting interests. I can say without a doubt that I would not be where I am today without the invaluable learning experiences gained from this faculty.
Please tell us anything else about you, your time at Bucks, your industry or role that will be of interest.
As you can see, since leaving Bucks I have been busy building a reputation in sporting circles of someone who is both focused and committed to my work. I have also during this time found time to attain a Master’s Degree in Applied Sports Psychology from St Mary’s University Twickenham where I wrote my dissertation on how exercise helps ex-service men and women amputees psychologically. This required extensive research in order that I could qualitatively examine what physical activity means to injured military ex-service members who had suffered the loss of limb(s). My paper significantly extended and emphasized previous knowledge on the role of physical activity as a vehicle for post-traumatic growth (PTG) of military personnel who had endured life-changing trauma and had crossed the boundary from able-bodied to disabled. It aimed to both educate others of the effect of physical activity on ex-military personal after the loss of a limb(s) and also to encourage others who have suffered the same trauma to participate.
I have 11 years’ experience in the health, fitness coaching and sports therapy fields, from volunteering and working during University years as a sports centre receptionist through to teaching and coaching at a number of fitness centres and sporting institutions throughout the London area.
In 2012 I was a part of the Medical Team at both the Olympic and Paralympic games. Certainly my Sport Psychology and Sport Therapy backgrounds helped me secure this role. Being positioned in the main Olympic Venue in Stratford, rubbing shoulders with athletes such as Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford, Serena Williams and Michael Phelps and being a part of such an iconic and historic period were some of the best weeks of my life.
During the summer of 2014, as a result of my work at the Olympics, I was recruited by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a Sports Massage Practitioner for the hockey teams at the National Hockey Arena. I knew after the Olympics and Paralympics in 2012 that I wanted to be part of another major sporting event and so had no hesitation in saying yes.
Following these successes I have been asked if I would consider being part of the Sports Massage team for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.