While success does not often come easily for a national England Football team, one team is bucking the trend, with the help of a Bournemouth University academic.
Physiotherapy lecturer Dr Osman Ahmed is currently working with the England men’s Cerebral Palsy football team, who are competing in the world championships. Ahmed, acting as a physiotherapist for the team, is in Argentina with the squad, who have reached the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time.
The team made it to the semi-finals, beating Japan, Venezuela, the Netherlands and the USA to set up a semi-final meeting against Iran, which they lost 3-1. The Three Lions entered the tournament achieving their goal of qualifying for the group stages, exceeding expectations to make it to the semi-final. They were eventually beaten by Iran, the current Paralympic silver medallists, to achieve the best ever World Championship placing for the England Cerebral Palsy team.
Dr Osman Ahmed, a physiotherapy lecturer at Bournemouth University, works as the team’s physiotherapist. He said, “I work with the Doctor and sports scientist and sports massage therapist. My main roles are treatments to prepare the players pre-match, and pitch-side duties during the game.
“It’s been great fun being out here. We are in a province called San Luis, and it’s a very picturesque region. We have been training hard and haven’t had loads of spare time. Having worked with the England CP squad since 2007 I am immensely proud of the team’s performances and am thrilled that we made the semi-final of a World Championship.”
Dr Ahmed will be heading back to the UK for the start of the new academic term to put his professional practice experience into his teaching on the Physiotherapy course.
England’s CP football team captain Jack Rutter visited Bournemouth University to talk about disability sport. In working with Dr Ahmed, he has built up a relationship with the university too, and both Osman and Jack sent a message to students ahead of the semi-final match: