5 minutes with Simone Passeri

Sports Rehab Clinic in Oxford

What is your profession? 

I’m an MSc qualified Sports Therapist registered with The Society of Sports Therapists and I’m currently undertaking a pre-reg MSc in Physiotherapy, which will qualify me to be an HCPC registered Physiotherapist when I’ve finished. 

What’s the difference between Sports Therapists and Physios?

We’re going to do a blog about this soon, but to summarise, Sports Therapists are allied health professionals with expertise in musculoskeletal conditions. They help rehabilitate people with injuries back to optimum functional, occupational and performance levels. They work in a similar way to musculoskeletal physiotherapists, but physiotherapists have a wider scope of training than Sports Therapists as during their university degree they also cover cardiorespiratory and neurological conditions. Both Sports Therapists and Physios work in sport on injury prevention and rehabilitation. 

Another difference is that Physiotherapy is a protected title and Sports Therapy isn’t, which means there are lots of other people who might say they are a Sports Therapist when they have done little or no formal training. There is a useful definition of sports therapy and sports therapists on the Society website What is Sports Therapy? – The Society of Sports Therapists (thesst.org)

How did you train for your profession? 

I’m Italian and I studied for my BSc degree in Sports Sciences in Italy prior to coming over to the UK. In the UK I studied a MSc in Sports Therapy at Bucks New University which involved academic teaching, placement with a professional sports team and a research dissertation. I’ve been working in the health and fitness industry for over 15 years and I’ve also undertaken several other professional courses during that time, such as in sports massage, postural and movement therapies, strength and conditioning, and exercise instruction for cardiac rehabilitation. Now I’m studying for a MSc degree in Physiotherapy. 

How has your career been so far?

My first roles were within semi-professional football teams within the Italian leagues supporting the medical staff as a Sports Masseur. I also worked as a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach within a gym. On moving to the UK I worked in private practice and also with a community cardiac rehabilitation group, providing exercise prescription programs for people who were recovering and rehabilitating after suffering cardiac conditions. Prior to going back to university I worked with a local council on a Sport England project to increase physical activity levels in people over the age of 60 in rural areas. Since qualifying as a Sports Therapist I’ve been working in a sports therapy clinic as well as setting up my own business with Dr Churchman. 

What does a typical week look like for you?

Right now my typical week is filled with more university studying! I still do some work with Evolve Rehabilitation & Therapy but my time is limited at the moment. I have lectures every day that I have to prepare for, as well as assignments to complete and exams to pass. The MSc in Physiotherapy also has several placements to complete over the two years so I’m sometimes based in community or hospital settings.

What do you like most about your work?

I love working with people and helping them get back to their best. I’m a sociable person and enjoy being face to face with clients, I couldn’t have an office job! I’ve always enjoyed learning about anatomy and physiology and right now I’m really interested in concussion and whether neck strengthening exercise programmes can help prevent sport related concussion. 

What recommendations do you have for clients who may be thinking about or actively looking for professional help?

As I mentioned above, only the title of Physiotherapist is protected by law in the UK, meaning unfortunately that only people who have completed appropriate training programmes can call themselves Physiotherapists but that anyone could say they are a Sports Therapist or such like. As a result, make sure your professional is registered – HCPC for physios and Society of Sports Therapists (SST) for Sports Therapists, and BASRaT for Sports Rehabilitators. If someone isn’t registered with any of these then it’s unlikely that they’ve completed a comprehensive course of study, if any at all. If you’re not sure if you need treatment or not then contact a professional, give them a few details if you feel comfortable and see what they say. Don’t be afraid to shop around before you choose.