Premier League physio graduates from home university

10 July 2024

A new University of Central Lancashire graduate’s desire to work with elite level athletes has seen her land physio roles with two premier sports’ teams.

Ashleigh Abbott, who graduated from the MSc Sports Medicine course with a distinction, is now a sessional physiotherapist for Premier League side Chelsea Football Club.

The 27-year-old is also the lead therapist at Hampstead and Westminster Hockey Club, a Premier Division team in both the England Hockey Men’s League and the Women’s Vitality League, and is a physiotherapist for Hockey Wales.

She combines these part-time roles with the position of trauma and orthopaedic specialist physiotherapist at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Ashleigh, who was brought up in Preston but moved to London aged 18 to study her undergraduate degree, said: “I chose to study MSc Sports Medicine at the University of Central Lancashire to develop my knowledge and skills to progress as a physiotherapist in sport.

“I had been working in my NHS role for a few years but since completing my undergrad, I had been working in smaller sports’ roles alongside this as a passion. I have a desire to work with elite athletes to prevent and rehabilitate after injury and wanted to develop as a physiotherapist within this area.”

The former Lostock Hall Academy and Runshaw College pupil, who works within the boys and girls academies as well as with the Chelsea Foundation, had to split her time during the one-year full-time course between travelling back to Preston to study and being in London for work.

She commented: “After living in London for nine years, logistical challenges were a factor but the modules offered a wide breadth of options, from trauma and emergency medicine in sport to those developing skills in strength and conditioning.

“I was also drawn to the University of Central Lancashire itself, not only for its’ reputation as a top university but also being in my hometown, providing an opportunity to spend more time with my family after living more than 200 miles away for a number of years. I often utilised my train travel for studying and catching up on sleep so it all worked out well.”

Ashleigh, who last week attended the under 16s EuroHockey 5s Championships in Croatia with Hockey Wales, added: “I feel proud I got through the intensive year and achieved the grades I did. Finishing my second degree with a pass with distinction was definitely a bonus pinch me moment.”

Ashleigh joined more than 4,000 students who took to the graduation stage of the University’s Sir Tom Finney Centre.

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