02:23AM, Friday 20 January 2012
The nation's figure skating hopes are resting in the capable hands of a Windsor physio.
Julia Ferreira is the honorary physiotherapist for the National Ice Skating Association and will support the Team GB skaters at the European Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield starting Sunday.
She has worked with the national team for four years, looking after them from the beginning of the season to make sure they perform their best.
The 36-year-old, who lives in Cookham, said: "It's going to be very exciting and such a great atmosphere.
"I'm so lucky to be working with an experienced medical team which is vital for a sporting competition where there is the risk of significant injury."
Originally from Cambridge, Julia was inspired to become a physiotherapist when she had physio herself at 13.
A connection to her cousin, a former international figure skater for Canada, secured her the lead role for Team GB.
"I'm their first point of contact," she said. "Elite skaters get the same bumps and bruises that anyone gets and they're prone to getting over-use injuries and muscle problems.
"I try and condition them at the beginning of the season to pick up on niggles and prevent them becoming chronic."
The physiotherapy manager at BMI The Princess Margaret Hospital, Windsor, is given time off to work with the skaters, gaining valuable experience.
She said it's good to have the elite expertise which she can share with her colleagues at the hospital.
The championships are at the Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, from Sunday for a week.See our Sports pages for more stories.
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