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Helping people to keep moving: What it's like to be a sports therapist

Getting people back on their feet and back to enjoying the sport they love is the aim of Marcus Slade.

Sports therapist Marcus Slade
Sports therapist Marcus Slade

As a sports therapist, he works with clients from all walks to life, helping them to recover from injuries, iron out aches and pains and prepare for the likes of marathons and triathlons.

Marcus, who lives in Norton Canes, graduated from University College Birmingham with a BSc (Hons) degree in sports therapy in 2015.

Shortly after finishing his studies, he set up how own business, Paeon Injury and Fitness, as a part-time mobile injury care unit.

It grew from strength to strength and three years later his full-time sports therapy clinic was up and running at premises based within Chasewater Country Park in Staffordshire.

"I set the business up within the first month of graduating and to fund the venture I sold some old collectables which gave me enough capital for equipment and my first week's rent - this was around £150 total," explains Marcus.

"I like the idea of walking my own path and building my own idea from the ground up," he adds.

Paeon has supported a wide range of local and national organisations

Over the past seven years, he has built up a team of qualified and experienced therapists and now thousands of people visit the clinic each year for a range of services from injury assessment and treatment to conditioning, such as sports massages, and exercise rehabilitation.

When someone is suffering from an injury, a therapist will carry out an assessment and create a personal treatment plan including aftercare to ensure a successful recovery.

Customer seeking help range from members of the public to amateur and professional athletes, including those representing Great Britain in sports such as kick-boxing.

Paeon has also supported a wide range of local and national organisations, including Snap Fitness and Ironman UK. But Marcus says he is also pleased to still be working with same small group of clients he started with back in 2015.

"We also have lots of active clients who take part in events such as marathons and triathlons so sometimes we are working on event preparation using treatments such as deep tissue, sports and recovery massage," he tells Weekend.

He has also launched a franchise side to the business - Paeon Franchise Group - which aims to provide sports therapists with the chance to start, run and own their business with the support and guidance of a team of experts.

"This is focused on scaling our brand, providing opportunities for sports therapists and supporting accessible pathways for sports therapists to start a career in the industry. We are currently working with several Anytime Fitness gyms to provide franchise locations within their facilities for sports therapy clinics," Marcus tells Weekend.

A typical day sees him spending much of the day with therapy clients while also dealing with the day-to-day duties of running his own business.

"I usually arrive in the office at 6.30am and work through any emails whilst drinking my morning coffee. My first client is usually at 7am. I tend to work up until 11am with clients back to back and then I have an admin power hour until 12pm.

"I head home for lunch from 12pm until 1pm and spend an hour with my wife and little girl. I come back to work for 1pm and work through until 6pm with clients, depending on franchise business activity.

"I get home at 6.30pm and spend a few hours with the family before my little girl goes to bed. I then move into the home office for 30 minutes and finish any admin for the day. I try to have any meetings on Wednesdays or Fridays to keep everything collated and running smooth," explains Marcus.

Marcus has also launched a franchise side to the business

Making a difference to people's lives and seeing them leave the clinic with a smile on their face is what makes the job worthwhile for Marcus.

"It sounds like a cliché but I enjoy helping people," he says. "I have a keen interest in human kinetics and to find a job that allows me to help people whilst delving into a topic I enjoy is brilliant.

"I enjoy the freedom of running my own business and the challenges and problem solving My hope is that we continue to thrive in the market space as we have done for the also few years.

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