Liverpool has launched its first ever Sports Therapy Hub inside a city council-run Lifestyles fitness centre.
Lifestyles has partnered with a team of sports massage therapists to offer treatments to help keep people moving.
The Sports Therapy Hub will run alongside existing facilities at Liverpool Aquatic Centre, the city council’s flagship facility which has up to 60,000 member visits every month to its gym, pool and fitness classes.
The initiative is the brainchild of sports therapists Jean-Jacques Sillito and Lee Gallagher who want to provide a more holistic approach to fitness by bringing everything under one roof.
“This means it’s practical, it’s accessible and it makes it efficient which is a big plus for people with busy lives,” explains Jean-Jacques.
The pair, who have 15 years’ experience working at Lifestyles, have taken over a previously unused room where they’ll offer add-on services for everyone from elite athletes to casual gyms users struggling with an injury.
“There are lots of really great facilities at the Sports Park – tennis, swimming, indoor and outdoor track – explains 39-year-old Jean-Jacques. “We’ve identified a gap in the market which hasn’t been done anywhere before at any of the Lifestyles Centre. Our partnership provides the centre with an opportunity to make the most of space that was not being used which will help promote the improved range of facilities to a different audience.”
Supported by Liverpool John Moores University, the Sports Therapy Hub will focus on injury treatment, prevention and rehabilitation, using not only sports massage therapy but complementary services including physiotherapy and sports nutrition.
“Our motto is ‘movement is the therapy’,” says Jean-Jacques. “Everyone moves but there are things which can stop us moving in the way we’d like whether that’s a sports injury, arthritis or just degeneration from lack of use. That’s where we can combine our knowledge of strength conditioning, fitness programming from years of working in the gym with the hands-on treatments to get people moving again.
“By offering the services in a council-run centre we’re taking them to a much wider audience which is important because these treatments can be beneficial for anyone and we’re both passionate about keeping people fit and active.
“Being at the Aquatics Centre we work with the city’s elite swimmers, but we also have a lady in her 70s who has a neck issue which wasn’t getting any better even though she’d been to see chiropractors and osteopaths. She’s an active member of Lifestyles and we’ve been able to treat her and free her movement a lot more than before. She isn’t going to be competing or taking part in a sport, but it does mean she can lift her grandchildren more easily.”
Area manager Brian Noonan added: “The city council has an initiative to maximise services by encouraging working together. We believe the Sports Therapy Hub will not just add value for our existing members and increase new membership potential, it will also help to promote the other facilities that are available which people might not have been aware of.”