At school I had no idea what I wanted to be, but there was one subject I loved more than any other – anatomy and physiology. In particular though, buried within year 11 anatomy and physiology we learnt about biomechanics, for just a couple of weeks. I loved it, and so pursued this at uni via my applied science degree. But it was during my honours year where I started to learn more about foot and lower limb biomechanics, that I realised I didn’t want to just assess movement pathologies, I wanted to help manage injuries related to these biomechanical problems. I was also a mad keen runner and basketballer, so I was really interested in the intersection between biomechanics and sports medicine. This led to me studying podiatry at La Trobe, and subsequently, to seek out a career in sports and exercise podiatry.
I’ve been really lucky to work with two elite clubs to date, and there are some amazing success stories that come with that (and some rather unusual ones as well!). But to be honest, I have a real passion for keeping recreational athletes from the community active. I can think of many, but one was a single mum who was overweight, and was struggling with her business and home life. She was trying to exercise to lose weight and to help with her stress, but she had chronic shin pain which kept stopping her. It took a long while, and a lot of different management strategies, but we managed to get her back on track. I’ve since met her children and other family members, and it always brings a satisfied smile to my face when I think about it.
I have a passion for sports and exercise. It brings so many wonderful benefits and helps everything from our mental and physical health, to persistent pain, and even with quitting smoking – what other ‘treatment’ can do all that! I also have a real passion for the wider podiatry profession, and I would love to see us enjoy greater recognition, both within the sporting and medical fields, as well as the wider community. I joined SEPA to try to pursue this. SEPA aims to support members in advancing their career in sports and exercise podiatry (including those who just want to build this as a component of their wider practice), and to foster a community where experienced podiatrists give back to support their early-career colleagues.