SM Cert, MHFST
Hi, my name is Gary. My love for sport started when I started cycling at the age of 12 and this has never stopped! Over the past 40 years, I have been involved in the sports of cycling, triathlon and running from local level right up to international level, including competing in triathlon in the Commonwealth Games in New Zealand in 1990. I am also a founder member of East Antrim Cycling Club. I think it is fair to say I know my way around a bike and have lots of advice to offer!
Through my sports background I have always been interested in health and fitness and in particular the benefits of sports massage, which lead to me enrolling on a Level 3 Sports Massage course in 2014. During this time and since completion in June 2015, I have built up a range of experiences including providing Sports Event Massage at the various events around NI, such as the Gran Fondo in Belfast, and at numerous international cycling training camps in Belgium. I am pleased to be part of the team at TDR Academy to be able to offer my skills to those who need the support in their training and recovery.
Through sports massage therapy, my goals are to help you to alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body's tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can help to break them down quickly and effectively, therefore helping you maintain optimum fitness and performance to achieve your goals whether you are an elite athlete, ardent keep-fitter or a once a week jogger. This treatment is not just for the sports person - sports massage can also benefit people in demanding jobs which may produce similar characteristics to sports participation and competition.
On a personal level, my achievements as a cyclist are:
- National and international level representing Northern Ireland and Ireland at schoolboy, junior and senior level
- Northern Ireland Junior Road Race Champion - 1978
- Represented Ireland at the junior World Road Race Championships in the USA – 1978
- I have also lived and raced abroad in Belgium and France, with my most successful season winning five races in Belgium – 1980
- Commonwealth Games Triathlon in Auckland, New Zealand - 1990.
- Irish Triathlon Long Course Championships (Half Ironman) in Sligo - 6th place 1990
- Ulster Triathlon Open Championships (Olympic Distance) in Downings Donegal - 2nd place 1990
- Newtownabbey Triathlon - 1st place 1990
- Dublin City Marathon, at a time of 2:40:50 - 1990 (my one and only marathon!)
I have participated in many other events over the years for the love of the sport, and I am still actively involved today. Some of the events I have participated in are:
- L'tape de Tour - mass participation event over a leg of the Tour de France in the Alps - 2002
- Newtownards Town Centre Race (Criterium) - 2012
- Cooley Thriller Mountain Bike Marathon - 2015
MY PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS & MEMBERSHIP
Courses completed to date:
- V.T.C.T. Level 3 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy - Sept. 2014 - June 2015
- Access NI Enhanced Disclosure Certificate – valid from 2014
- Emergency First Aid - 2015 (St. John Ambulance First Aid)
- Advanced and Deep Tissue Accredited Diploma Massage Course - Oct. 2016
- Chair Massage Course - Seated Acupressure On-site Accredited Diploma - Jan. 2017
- Kinesiotaping Course - Vivomed Therapy in Motion - March 2017
Workshops and mentoring sessions completed with Tanya Ross:
- Massage Techniques & Guidelines per Body Area, Mechanotherapy and Pressure Application (numerous mentored sessions) - Aug to Nov 2015
- Trigger Point Application & Guidelines - Mar 2016
- Posture Analysis and Correction Advice Workshop - Nov 2017
I have professional membership of the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) and have been elected on the council of International Council of Health, Fitness and Sports Therapists.
I am also fully insured to practice through Balens specialists for Health and Wellbeing Professionals.
EXPERIENCE & VOLUNTARY WORK
I am a founder member of East Antrim Cycling Club and have been involved in many roles over many years and have been involved with local and international level cycling.
I have attended the following events as a Sports Massage Therapist and provided post event sports massage services which has helped raise funds for various charities at each event:
- Ballyclare Mayfair 10k 2015
- Belfast Hills Running Race 2015
- Belfast Titanic Triathlon 2015 & 2016
- Killinchy 150 Cycle Event 2015
- Titanic Belfast Triathlon 2016
- Decathlon 10 K - 2016
- Gran Fondo Belfast 2016 & 2017
- Lisburn Half Marathon 2016 & 2017
- New Zealand's Womens' Rugby Team The Black Ferns - post tournament Sports Massage Therapist 2016
I worked in the role of team soigneur with the professional cycling team :- An Post Chainreaction during their warm weather training camps in Calpe, Spain in December 2015, January 2016 and again for December 2017 and January 2017. I also worked with the team on 2 international stage races in May 2016: the Fleche du Sud in Luxembourg And the An Post Ras stage race in Ireland.
(Ps soigneur is a word used in the cycling world for a person who acts as carer for the athlete, responsible for massage, hydration and any nutrition he/she may need during and post training ie energy drinks/recovery drinks ...soigneur is French for therapist...). I also worked at Volta Au Alentejo - another 5 day stage race in Portugal in Feb 2017 in this capacity.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know a little about me. I look forward to seeing you at TDR Academy.