Physiotherapy support

Our team of highly specialist practitioners operate across all our performance sports and with the multidisciplinary team to ensure athlete’s robustness meets the demands of their sport, ensuring athletes can compete at the greatest of their abilities and prevent injury.

What is physiotherapy support?

Physiotherapy support at Loughborough University has two key focuses; injury prevention and rehabilitation. Collaboration with coaches and our other practitioners enables a multi-disciplinary approach to our performance sport programmes. A synergistic approach to athletic programming allows athletes to be in the best physical condition and therefore minimising the risk of injury.

In the event of an injury, the physiotherapist helps lead the athlete’s treatment and rehabilitation alongside the athlete and coach, and utilising the expertise of all our other scientific disciplines. Injury rehabilitation is delivered in a range of our facilities, including our dedicated Rehabilitation Gym Powerbase Gym or on-pitch. Our Performance Sport Physiotherapists attend training sessions, competitions and communicate regularly with practitioners from our other disciplines and coaching staff. Physiotherapists offer maintenance treatments to keep athletes in optimum condition to train and compete.

Our Physiotherapy Team is highly skilled and utilise’ a variety of treatment techniques including manual therapy, sports massage, acupuncture, cupping, taping, instrument assisted massage, in addition to tailoring personal rehabilitation and prehab programmes for each athlete.

Experience of our team

As we practice in such a wide variety of sports, our Physiotherapists use each other’s expertise and experience to enhance the quality of practice that we provide to our athletes. We employ the latest evidence and research to ensure that we are delivering high-quality, innovative treatment with the best outcome for the athlete in mind.

We have great links with expert consultants outside of the University in a number of areas ensuring gold standard care for our athletes. Connected to the world-leading School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, our practitioners deliver guest lectures, allowing our physios to both influence and participate in the latest research.

Furthermore, Loughborough Sport’s partnership with Nuffield Health allows our performance athletes quick access to scans, including MRI’s and x-rays, rapidly speeding up recovery times.

Our physiotherapy team 

Physiotherapists

Sam MacGregor

Clinical Lead, Lead Physiotherapist for Basketball and TASS Physiotherapist

BSc. Physiotherapy, MSc, Sports & Exercise Medicine

Sam qualified in physiotherapy from the University of Huddersfield in 2008 and went to work in the NHS in Leeds & Nottingham working across a range of specialities.

In 2010 he moved to work at Derby County Football Club working in the academy, mainly with players aged 9 to 23. Whilst there he headed up the Academy Sports Science & Medicine Department overseeing all aspects of medical and S&C support.

Sam completed his Master's Degree in Sports & Exercise Medicine at the University of Nottingham in 2013. Alongside this, he completed a module in lower limb manual therapy at the University of Birmingham in 2016 and has also completed courses in Acupuncture and Dry Needling.

Sam joined Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in May 2019 and is the Clinical Lead, Lead Physiotherapist for Basketball and TASS Physiotherapist.

Alex Peace

Clinical Lead and Lead Physiotherapist for Netball

BSc. (Hons) Physiotherapy, MSc. Sport & Exercise Medicine

Alex qualified in 2002 from Brunel University, London and has a wide range of experience working in both public and private sectors. Alex worked for many years in a variety of areas within the NHS, before specialising in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. Following many happy years in the NHS, she is now Clinical Lead here in the clinic, combining this with a full clinical caseload in addition to running two private practices of her own.

Alex has previously worked with the Amateur Swimming Association on the England Talent Program, and for various football and rugby squads throughout her career. Alex combined her passion for sport and physiotherapy by completing an MSc. in Sport and Exercise Medicine at Nottingham University in 2011.

Alex uses a ‘hands-on’ physiotherapy approach with a focus on rehabilitation to deliver an effective treatment program, often using techniques such as acupuncture, massage and taping.

Alex joined Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in 2011 and is the Clinical Lead and Lead Physiotherapist for Netball.

Michael Challis

Lead Physiotherapist for Badminton, Hockey & Squash

BSc. Physiotherapy, MSc. Sport & Exercise Medicine, MACPSEM (Silver)

Mike graduated with his Physiotherapy degree from Keele University in 2011. He started his career working for his local Rugby club whilst completing various rotations in the NHS at Southampton General Hospital.

Mike continued his work as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist seeing private and NHS patients whilst honing his career and experience in Sport. He has gained a wide range of experience in multi-sport from fencing and badminton to judo and netball. He has worked with teams across a diverse array of age groups and in particular has gained considerable experience in the sport of Hockey starting his work with Reading Hockey Club but quickly transitioning to working with England Hockey and their national age group programme and elite development squads. Mike has supplemented this working with British Gymnastics and at national and international Multi-Sport events such as the School Games and World Athletics Championships.

Mike has almost completed his Master’s degree in Sport and Exercise Medicine at Cardiff Metropolitan University, he focused his research dissertation in the injuries sustained by male and female hockey players. He is currently working towards his membership with the MACP and Gold Level accreditation with the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sport and Exercise Medicine (ACPSEM). He also has ambitions to pursue further research and education as well as one-day work at the Olympics.

Mike loves learning and reading but is very energetic and active in his spare time, enjoying anything associated with health and fitness but with a passion for weight training.

Mike joined Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in September 2018 and is the Lead Physiotherapist for Badminton, Hockey & Squash.

Ashni Desai

Ashni Desai

Lead Physiotherapist for Football & Swimming

BSc, MCSP, HCPC

Ashni qualified as a chartered physiotherapist in 2016 from the University of the West of England, Bristol.

Upon graduating, Ashni worked for Championship Rugby club, Coventry Rugby, for three seasons. Working closely alongside strength and conditioning coaches has given Ashni an appreciation for the importance of incorporating injury prevention, resilience and mobility exercises into rehab programmes. Ashni continues her work in sports part-time at Aston Villa Football Club Academy, as well as volunteering at events such as the 2019 London Marathon.

Alongside working within sports, Ashni completed core rotations within orthopaedics, general medicine and surgery at the major trauma centre University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire, before moving to a private Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Clinic. Key skills involved comprehensive assessment and treatment, with specifically tailored rehabilitation, targeted towards the patients personal goals.

Ashni has also completed additional courses such as Dry Needling and has a Diploma in Sports Massage. Outside of hands-on physiotherapy, Ashni is co-author of a research article that was published in the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics (2019).

Ashni joined the Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in February 2020 and is the Lead Physiotherapist for Football & Swimming.

Kerry Glendon

Lead TASS & Tennis Physiotherapist

BSc. Physiotherapy, MSc. Manual Therapy

Kerry graduated from Keele University in 2007 with a BSc. in Physiotherapy. She has since completed her Masters in Manual Therapy at the University of Nottingham and gained membership of the Musculoskeletal Association of Charted Physiotherapists (MACP) in 2012.

Kerry completed her Acupuncture Foundation course in 2008 and has since used acupuncture in her practice. She has completed an array of courses in movement dysfunctions, pitchside trauma, sports injuries, massage, taping and manipulation to name just a few.

Kerry worked for Perform & the Football Association (FA) at St. Georges Park National Football Centre for three years, where she was also the physiotherapist for the Women’s U19 squad. Whilst working with the Women’s U19 squad, she was fortunate enough to support the athletes during the World Cup in Israel.

Kerry has been the Lead Physiotherapist with Loughborough Students RFC, who have been competing in National League One since 2015.

She has a wealth of experience having worked in a NHS setting for six years gaining experience and expertise in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy. She has a clinical interest in shoulder and spinal conditions, which she focused on during her Master’s dissertation. She is currently a PhD candidate researching concussion recovery and methods of improving recovery.

Kerry is the Lead physiotherapist for TASS and the physiotherapist for Tennis and Men's Rugby Rehab.

Kerry joined the Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in January 2016. 

Harvey Maguire

Lead Physiotherapist for Athletics and Triathlon

BSc. (Hons) Physiotherapy, MSc. Advancing Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy

Harvey is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy as well as the Health Care Professionals Council and Associaton of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine (Bronze level). He graduated with a degree in BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy in 2011, completing his Masters Degree in Advancing Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy in 2016.

Harvey began his career working in professional football at Wolverhampton Wanderers as an Academy Physiotherapist for 2 seasons, from here he undertook a position with Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme working with athletes across a range of sporting backgrounds, including British Ski and Snowboard and England Table Tennis. From here he began a role at St George’s Park, The National Football Centre where he worked with the Professional Footballers Association Residential Rehabilitation scheme as well as a role with The FA Mens Development teams. Harvey began a role with Athletics New Zealand in 2017 supporting their athletes prior to the 2017 Athletics World Championships in London.

Currently Harvey works as a Physiotherapist for British Athletics at Diamond League events, the Sub 2 hour marathon project, British Universities Sport, Athletics New Zealand and England Athletics.

Harvey joined Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in October 2017 and is the Lead Physiotherapist for Athletics and Triathlon.

Matthew Mcdonald-Liggins

Lead Physiotherapist for Cricket

BSc. (Hons) Physiotherapy

Matthew is a chartered physiotherapist who qualified in 2015 from Coventry University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Physiotherapy. He is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council as well as the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists.

Matthew has a wide range of experience in the NHS and started his career working in a variety of settings including outpatients, orthopaedics, respiratory, elderly medicine and intensive care. Following the completion of his acute rotations, Matthew made the decision to specialise in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and worked as a senior physiotherapist in the NHS prior to joining the clinic.

Matthew has a keen interest in strength and conditioning and has also worked in a wide variety of sporting settings over recent years, so is able to adapt his experience and skills to clients from all walks of life.

Matthew joined Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in November 2018 and is the Lead Physiotherapist for Cricket.

Emma Spong

Emma Spong

Lead Physiotherapist for Cycling & Women's Rugby

BSc, MCSP, HCPC, ACPSEM, AACP

Emma qualified as a chartered physiotherapist in 2017 from Brunel University London. She is currently completing a master’s degree in Sports Injury Rehabilitation at the University of Salford and she has completed additional courses in sports injury trauma, taping, and a foundation course in acupuncture.

After graduating Emma worked at National League One Rugby team Bishop Stortford RFC for 3 years and worked at West Ham Football Club Academy with the U9 – U16 squads. She has worked at national and international events for Maccabi Team GB at the European Games, British Athletic Outdoor Championships and the London Marathon.  

Emma enjoyed her time in the NHS completing rotations in paediatrics, major trauma, orthopaedics and musculoskeletal physiotherapy at Barts Health NHS Trust, before specialising as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at Guys and St. Thomas NHS Trust working as a senior physiotherapist in the NHS prior to joining the clinic.

Outside her clinical role Emma is passionate about education and has completed teachings at Kings College London on physiotherapy programmes. She has a special interest in female athlete health and concussion management in the female rugby player, which she hopes to explore in her master’s degree.

Emma joined the Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in January 2021 and is the Lead Physiotherapist for Cycling & Women’s Rugby.

Sports Massage Therapists

Kelly Bramhald

Sports Massage Therapist

VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Sports Massage Therapy

Kelly graduated from Loughborough University with a Sports Science degree in 2016 and combined her studies with her Level 4 Sports Massage Therapy qualification, completed in 2014.

For over 5 years, Kelly has since provided sports massage to a range of different people, from members of the public to Paralypmic & Olympic medallists.

Kelly has also worked with the Lawn Tennis Association, Leicester Tigers junior teams and is also a qualified UKSCA Strength & Conditioning coach.

As an athlete, Kelly has been a National standard javelin thrower for over a decade and has used her sporting experiences and shoulder surgery rehab to provide a greater level of understanding with the broad range of clients she works with.

Kelly joined the Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in September 2018 and is the Sports Massage Therapist for the Loughborough University Athletics Club.

Gemma Lord

Sports Massage Therapist

VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy

Gemma has been working as a Soft Tissue Therapist since 2012.

Qualifying in Sports Therapy initially at Loughborough College, she has expanded her skill set over the years to include acupuncture, dry needling, cupping, taping and is also a Level 3 Mat Based Pilates Instructor.

She has worked with a broad range of clients from elite to private and now works extensively with our Performance Sport Squad here at Loughborough. One of her career highlights was working with the New Zealand Rugby Team during their stay here for the World Cup.

Gemma offers a holistic, multi-faceted approach to her treatment, incorporating a range of techniques to enable the best outcome for the client. She is currently completing mindfulness and yoga teacher training.

She joined Loughborough University Physiotherapy Clinic in September 2013.