As the world’s eyes turn to Rio for the Olympic Games on 5 August, Team GB’s Paralympic teams will be counting down the days until it’s their time to shine.
And it’s not just the players who will be busy preparing, Osman Ahmed, lecturer in Physiotherapy at Bournemouth University, will be counting down the clock until he’s off to Rio to support the Team GB 7-a-side football team.
Paralympic 7-a-side football is for athletes with cerebral palsy and the game is modified to be on a smaller pitch, with no offside rule and throw-ins made with just one hand.
Osman said, "I’m incredibly excited and proud to be part of the team. The players have been working extremely hard over the last four years building up to this campaign and we can’t wait to get out there."
Having recently qualified for the Paralympics with a 5th place finish in last year's Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships in England, Team GB will be hoping for a podium finish when the curtains open for this year’s Paralympic games on 7 September.
Osman makes up a support team of performance director, coaches and video analysts to accompany the squad, with his role being vital in ensuring the players are all in their best physical shape to play.
Over the course of the games Team GB will compete in a maximum of five games.
Currently working as both a part-time Lecturer and a Physiotherapist at Poole General Hospital, Osman dedicates approximately 4 days a month to support the squad.
Osman’s looking forward to returning from the games to be able to share his experiences with the students.
He said, "Being a Physiotherapist for an elite sports team gives me exposure to different conditions compared to working in a Hospital. By sharing these experiences with our students they’ll learn what it’s like to be involved in sport at the top level as well as gain appreciation for different conditions. I’ll also be looking to start some research into these areas in the foreseeable future."