By Will Pearson, europeantour.com
A brand new, state of the art facility in central London will provide both European Tour stars and the public access to the best healthcare and injury rehabilitation.
The Institute of Sport Exercise & Health, an Olympic legacy-funded project aligned with two others coming on-stream soon in Loughborough and Sheffield, is located in the heart of London at 170 Tottenham Court Road.
With a view to an even closer association with the major sports bodies, Dr Roger Hawkes, Chief Medical Officer for The European Tour, has started a Monday afternoon clinic for European Tour golfers with fellow Tour consultant Dr Tim Swan, a service which is also open to amateur golfers and members of the general public.
The £10million ISEH is a partnership between UCLH (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust), HCA Hospitals, UCL, the English Institute of Sport and the British Olympic Association.
Opened just six weeks ago by Lord Sebastian Coe and based not far from The European Tour’s Wentworth headquarters, facilities at the ISEH include a suite of consulting spaces, ultrasound, X-ray and advanced MRI scanning equipment, an outpatient area and research and education facilities.
A key benefit to Tour members stopping in at the ISEH is an all-encompassing, on-site diagnostic facility which includes diagnostic ultrasound to complement physical examination. It also allows better targeting of injections and, as a result, a great deal more can be achieved within a single consultation.
The state of the art 3T MRI scanner alone will deliver much more detail on the wrist and hip problems encountered frequently by professional golfers.
Lord Coe, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: “This institute is a great example of the kind of thing we had in mind when we spoke about creating a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Games.
“Not only will it deliver excellence in injury prevention and management for elite athletes, it will offer the same level of care to amateur sportsmen and women who were inspired by what they saw last summer.
“This fabulous facility will also have a role in introducing exercise into the treatment regimens of NHS patients, spreading the word about the powerful impact sport and exercise can have on your quality of life.”
After playing in last week’s ISPS Handa Wales Open, where he missed the cut while struggling with an injury, English European Tour member Steve Webster visited the clinic on Monday and was glowing in his approval of the new facilities and the many benefits they will provide to Tour stars.
“Roger told me to come down here and check out this new facility,” said Webster, a two-time winner on The European Tour. “It’s ideal for me – and will be for a lot of players that live in England and around London – and I needed some treatment so I’ve been able to pop in.
“To be able to come in on Mondays in between travelling to and from events and get things done within a couple of days is great and minimises the amount of time you have to take off with injuries.
“We want the best treatment and with this new clinic facility the Tour are providing that.”
It is hoped that expansion of the ISEH European Tour clinic will also include a rehabilitation facility with consultants from the European Tour physiotherapy team.
The European Tour Performance Institute (ETPI) hopes this will prove the first of many similar facilities to be established around Europe.