From delivering training sessions to treating concussions, no day looks the same for GB Snowsport Physio Lawrence Sonvico.
How and why did you get into physiotherapy? What kind of experience and education do you need?
“Growing up I played lots of different sports and through injuries I picked up, I was lucky enough to receive some fantastic physiotherapy support, which sparked an interest in the area. I really enjoy problem solving and my role provides a fantastic opportunity to combine this with my love of sport.
“The standard entry into physiotherapy is through A-Levels and then a physiotherapy degree, however there are other routes in via pre-registration masters degrees and degree standard apprenticeships.”
What are your main activities as a physiotherapist?
“My role is extremely varied across all the GB Snowsport disciplines and no day looks the same. Our main role is to support the athletes and coaches through periods of injury and rehabilitation and to work to keep the athletes healthy and on snow, while supporting performance goals. As a physio we spend a significant amount of time with the athletes and coaches but also work closely with the wider support team to deliver training sessions and programmes to support recovery, rehabilitation, risk mitigation and sporting performance.”
How do your services support the athletes and help them reach their goals?
“We are very lucky to travel to some very cool locations for training and competition and also works in some of the best sports facilities in the world. Through spending time with the coaches and athletes and understanding the technical and tactical requirements of a sport, we work closely with the wider support team to build individualised programmes and strategies to optimise health and performance.”
What are the most common injuries you find yourself treating?
“In snow sports the biggest issue we see, as I’m sure you can guess, are knees, shoulders and concussions. With the speeds and tricks our athletes perform, there are lots of risks associated with the sport, however, we try and help them develop the physical qualities required to go again another day.”
What’s the best part of your job as a physiotherapist?
“There are so many great parts, for me the best part is to see an athlete reach their potential. This doesn’t always mean winning medals, but to a small part in supporting an athlete who achieves, maybe more than they thought was possible, really is special… But also I do often get to commute to work on a pair of skis!!”